Chance the Rapper has gone from relative unknown to superstar in the last year, and much of that success can be attributed to his third project, Coloring Book. The album received 7 Grammy nominations and Chance ended up taking home 3 Grammy awards.
The album came out last Summer, officially released on May 13, 2016. Chance had, until that point, always released his music to Soundcloud and various sources for free, making it a point to build his brand that way. So when Coloring Book came out exclusively on Apple Music for 2 weeks, many fans were understandably upset, questioning his independence and morals.
In a series of tweets today, Chance the Rapper finally addressed the issue and explained his stance.
I don’t have a problem with Chance’s exclusive album, especially since it was for such a short amount of time. Chance is also not the first artist to do this; Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo” and Drake’s “Views” both preceded “Coloring Book” and were both exclusives for a while.
The benefits and drawbacks of exclusive album rights is a debate for another time, but artists deserve to see some revenue from the albums and music they put so much effort into. With the growth of music streaming services, these problems will only become more apparent, and the next few years will likely determine the future of how we share music.