In a new interview, Chance The Rapper talks his rap name, why he isn’t ready to have another child and why he’s not the least bit afraid of a Donald Trump presidency. Check out a few excerpts and cool flix from his latest shoot below.
On if he would change his rap name:
Yeah. I think it’s everything that you’re saying, but going in the opposite direction. My dad used to always say, “You need to change your name to Chance the Artist. This song, this is different.” I remember one day I was with Justin—my best friend, who has always been really good at school, really smart, really good at speaking to people. I remember my dad would introduce us to folks and they would ask, “What’re you going to be when you grow up?” Justin’s f*cking 7 years old talking about, “I’m going to be a biomedical engineer.” You know, he’s just that guy. And I remember they asked me, and I said a rapper. And my dad laughed it off, like, “No, he doesn’t…” You know?
And I remember that sh*t used to bother the f*ck out of me, because I thought Kanye West was the smartest man in the world. The best poet in the world. The freshest-dressed in the world. That’s what a rapper was to me, and I wanted everybody to feel that way about the word “rapper.” And “rapper,” to me, is pretty much synonymous with the word “black.” It’s a stigma where it’s like, “Damn, I heard Chance the Rapper. I didn’t think he was going to sound like that.” I hate that when you introduce yourself, and you’re a rapper, sometimes you gotta say, “I’m a musician.” Or, “I’m an artist.” “I’m a recording artist.” “I’m a vocalist.”
On the “3” cap he wears:
I used to always rock a cap when I was in high school and get them taken away. It was an excessive amount. Like, so often that at the end of each school year, there would be a box of all the confiscated caps. After they gave back a few caps to other kids, they would just give me the box because the rest were all my hats. So I think, in one part, it’s a rebellion. There are a few things that I have because I’m a man-child. Like I don’t eat vegetables at all. Never. I hate eating vegetables. The only vegetables I eat are lettuce on a burger.
On if he wants more kids:
Not right now. It’s a lot to try and be a good dad right now. With all the distractions and all the things that I’m limited in doing by living in Chicago and being a person of notoriety. I don’t wanna tack on anything. I want to get my relationship with Kensli down pat and also just get older. I’m 23. I had her when I was 22. If I am gonna have more kids, it’ll be a blessing and I’ll accept it as a responsibility and a privilege, but I’m definitely not trying to have more kids right now.
On the toughest thing about being Chance the Rapper in a relationship:
Just my time. My time and also my knack for, like, you know, just… F*ck the second thing that I was going to say—let’s just keep it at that.… [laughs]
On the most romantic thing he’s ever done for a woman:
Oooh, that’s a good question. I’ve done some grandiose things.… Oh! I got it. I had a girlfriend in high school and I published a poem on Facebook about her, and I remember everybody flaming my *ss for it forever. I hope that sh*t is gone, actually. I gotta check.
On the downside of being a celebrity and the limitations that come with notoriety:
On not wanting to be like Kanye West:
That’s the main thing. I don’t consider being a musician the same thing as being a celebrity. Celebrity is strictly the fact that if I go somewhere, to a…frozen-yogurt shop—
I f*ck with it tough! That’s one of my things. I’m glad that you could tell when I said “frozen-yogurt spot” that I was actually talking about something that happened to me in my life—this happens in a lot of places. If I go to a frozen-yogurt spot, and I get my yogurt, and I put on my toppings, and I go to the front, and the cashier freaks out, she’s like, “Oh my God, oh my God, you’re Chance the Rapper. You’re Chance the Rapper.”
And then the other lady there, she says, “I don’t know who you are.” It’s the difference in those two reactions. Like, this one girl might fan out, and this other girl might not care at all. But then in a few seconds, this girl’s going to start making it very apparent that she doesn’t know who I am, making jokes about it and asking me who I am, what do I do. And then, in the end, she’s going to ask for a picture, too. And remind me after she took the picture that she doesn’t know who I am. It’s like today was different in her life because she saw a celebrity. And that sucks. And the pressure of being right and presentable as a celebrity kind of sucks.
I find that interesting with you. Because you idolize Kanye. Nobody’s less—
I don’t think I ever wanted to be like Kanye in personality, though. I think I definitely want to, have always wanted to, have his boldness or assurance in myself. But I’ve definitely seen Kanye do things where I was like, “I’d never do that.” I’ve always been able to defend Kanye. When everybody’s like, “Kanye’s a nut, Kanye’s a nut,” I’m one of those guys saying, “No, he’s saying some real sh*t.” Like when he went onstage with Taylor, I was like…well…Beyoncé kind of deserved that. [laughs] I’m rationalizing everything that he does, but I can’t say that in the same position I would do the same things.
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