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Chance The Rapper Reveals What He Stole From Kanye West

'I stole that'

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Kanye West must be feeling hella flattered by his hand-picked protégé Chance the Rapper.

After working on five songs from West’s The Life of Pablo, Chance is now revealing some intel about how that album’s creation inspired his own acclaimed mixtape, Coloring Book. In a new Billboard cover story, Chance says that while recording TLOP, West rented out an entire studio and simultaneously directed different rooms of writers, engineers, producers, seamstresses, and even magicians.

“I watched him knock out six, seven songs that way,” Chance said. “I stole that.”

Chance — who calls himself “literally Kanye’s biggest fan” — says he copied the same unusual method for Coloring Book by renting out a Chicago studio where he and his team camped out and slept on inflatable mattresses. Clearly, the strategy worked for both Kanye and Chance, whose respective albums broke records for streaming: TLOP was the first album with over 50 percent of its units from streaming to top the Billboard 200, while Coloring Book was the first album to chart based solely on streams.

Elsewhere in his Billboard cover story, Chance elaborated on his steadfast refusal to sign with a major label, which is a huge theme on Coloring Book cuts like “No Problem” and “Mixtape.”

“It’s not about the music being free,” he said. “It’s about how it is displayed and made accessible and about artistic power. It was always about the artist-to-fan relationship.”

That artist-fan relationship is now the focus of the rest of Chance’s year. He’s currently preparing for his Magnificent Coloring Day Festival in Chicago this September, which he says is “bigger than me being a rapper... I think the city needs some happy moments.” After that, he’ll set out on his Magnificent Coloring World Tour this fall, which is sure to be... well... magnificent.