Chicago’s Chance the Rapper (real name: Chance Bennett) has been making waves in the hip-hop world with his critically acclaimed mixtapes. Chance’s story should sound familiar to all creatives, he was certain he had the talent to make it, but was struggling to break through.
However it took some heart-breaking news to jumpstart his ambition. In 2011, one of his close friend’s was stabbed. Also, around the same time, Chance was suspended from school for 10 days. Chance’s father then offered the challenge that changed his life: advance your fledging rap career or get serious about school. From the Chicago Reader:
“Right after that I started being in the studio every day,” Bennett says. “Didn’t really go out anymore, stopped doing all the drugs I used to do—it changed my whole life around. It was a very sobering event.” His father noticed too: “His performances were entirely different,” [his father] says. “He understood his mortality.”
Chance used the tragedy along with a 10-day suspension from high school as a creative constraint and as motivation to start recording and producing “10 Day” — his first mixtape —which led to a performance at SXSW and his next critically acclaimed mixtap: Acid Rap.