Lest We Forget: It Was Donald Glover’s Co-Sign That Opened The Door For Chance The Rapper

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The day was July 4th, 2012. Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover released his mixtape, “Royalty.” The body of work was the first to be released since Gambino’s debut album, “Camp.” Even though I loved Camp and many of his fans did as well, the albums’s critical reception wasn’t that great. In fact, Pitchfork infamously rated the album in it’s review a whopping 1.6 out of 10. Despite that, “Royalty” was a statement that read, Glover doesn’t care what you think and he is going to continue to drop music. Now in the 16 track mixtape, there were a ton of features across the board spanning from Danny Brown to Gonage to surprisingly Tiny Fey, but there was also a newcomer in rap. On the song “They Don’t Like Me” there was a feature from then unknown rapper Chance The Rapper.

You can argue that Chance had dropped a tape 3 months earlier than Royalty called, “10 Days” and that tape was downloaded nearly 400,000 times on Datpiff, but in the summer of 2012, Chance was still relatively unknown. On the song  “They Don’t Like Me” It was clear what Glover was doing for Chance. The song was perfectly used as a way to give Chance a platform. And Glover didn’t stop there.

Glover would bring Chance on tour with him on the Camp Tour. After jumpstarting Chance’s career with a co-sign, Chance went on to drop his highly acclaimed second mixtape “Acid Rap” in 2013. This mixtape is considered one of the best this decade and Glover lent out another helping hand by being featured on “Acid Rap” on the track, “Favorite Song,” off the mixtape.

This song is currently the most played song on the mixtape on Soundcloud. The duo weren’t done yet. When Childish Gambino released his second studio album, “Because The Internet” Chance was featured on the song, “Worst Guys.” A lot of people always wonder why Chance doesn’t have a verse on this song, apparently he was too busy writing for Justin Bieber. On that note, near the end of 2013, Chance would be featured on Justin Bieber’s album, “Journals” on the song “Confident.”

It was clear that Chance’s’ stock was rising. In 2014, he became an XXL Freshman and in 2015, he released two critically acclaimed tapes, one with Lil B called, “Based (Freestyle Mixtapes)” and another one called “Surf” with Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. During Chance’s rise in 2014 and 2015, Glover was barely releasing music. The only thing he dropped was one mixtape split into two versions called, “STN MTN/Kauai.” And for the first time since 2011, Glover dropped a body of work without Chance being featured on it.

The reason Glover was barely releasing any music during this time was because he was working hard on his television show Atlanta for FX. It was also during this time that Glover deleted all of his social media account and went dark on the Internet. Now while he was ghost and working on “Atlanta” Chance was growing a huge following over the course of those years that all accumulated in 2016.

Because in 2016, Chance was featured on Kanye West’s album, The Life Of Pablo” and three months after being on that, he released his third mixtape, “Coloring Book” to widespread acclaim. Which brings me to present time. Chance has just won three Grammy Awards off of that mixtape. He won for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album.

The majority of people now believe that West gave Chance The Rapper the co-sign that made him now a superstar. Now the reason why it isn’t common knowledge that Glover opened the door for Chance is because in the past few years Chance and Glover haven’t worked together musically. The knowledge of Glover being the one who really started things for Chance’s has become unnoticed and buried and this isn’t new for Glover.

There are just a lot of things Glover has done over the years that he properly doesn’t get credit for and others do. Glover put Haim on his “Royalty” mixtape on the song, “Won’t Stop” and a year later, Kid Cudi put them on his album “Indicud” on the song, “Red Eye” and was praised for it. Now it’s West’s co-sign of Chance’s being the force that pushed the Chicago rapper into the mainstream, not Glover’s earlier co-sign. It’s a disappointing trend of Glover being underappreciated.

Up until 2016, Glover was long overdue for recognition and praise for all of the things that he has done over the years in music and television. I’m happy now that people finally saw how incredible he was in 2016 with Atlanta. I’m happy that he won two Golden Globes for the show and got the musical praise from “Awaken, My Love!” But among the praise, it should be known that Glover was the first person who opened the door for Chance, it shouldn’t be another thing that he doesn’t get praised for because we’ve had enough of Glover being slighted.


From The 6ix,With Love

Thank You For Reading

Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix

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