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Chance The Rapper Explains Exactly How All Those Record Labels Tried To Stop Him

‘I need more artists to do it themselves’

Chance the Rapper sat down for an in-depth interview with Complex recently, touching on topics like fatherhood, mental health, DIY ethics, and the follow-up to his lauded 2016 project Coloring Book.

In between talking kids and talking business, Chance took a moment to explain exactly what he meant by that "if one more label try to stop me" line on Coloring Book's single "No Problem." It wasn't a figure of speech — labels allegedly did try to stymie Chance's career in order to advance their own signees.

Chance said that labels would "push me out of headline positions, so that their artists could be a headliner or, like, not clear songs. Certain songs didn't get cleared; the samples that were good to go didn't get cleared."

While he's troubled by the state of the industry as it stands, Chance hopes to be a positive example of what artists can accomplish without label backing. "I need more artists to do it themselves," he said. "I don't mean do it by yourself. ... You can bring on your friends and professionals that you know and build a business where you're the upper management. Where you're the creative, and you are the last decision maker, and you don't ever have to feel compromised.

"I'd like to be proof that it works," he continued. "I don't want to be the one guy it worked for. That's not my goal at all. I'm trying to get other motherfuckers to just do it."