Pillaging a record label has to be the pipe dream of a rolodex full of artists. Running up to reception, sounding like designer, “Git Git Git! Brrrrrraaap!” Telling everyone to pay up, even though none of those assistants have anything to do with you not getting paid… hell, if you’re playing this fantasy in your mind, you probably haven’t been paid in a while and you just need lunch money at this point.
But Chance is over here, happy as all hell though... no mean mugging, no pistol whipping. This is just raucous joy. Freedom is in his hands and “this is his part… nobody else speak.” To be honest I didn’t think we’d get an independent artist this side of Macklemore to do as well as Chance has. The precedent that this has set is and will be considered historic. Currently, labels are already trying to figure out what the hell to do with kids like Chance. If Chance The Rapper doesn’t want what “Generic Records” has to offer, then Generic Records now has to figure out what in the hell Chance wants. And it’s that kind of power that artists haven’t had before.
There is already a clear generational gap between the artists who had to make radio friendly pop hits at the demand of their label and the artists who do as they please. And the crazy part is, the gap isn’t that wide. New trails are being blazed and everyone who has been playing it the old way is trying to put up their best poker face and pretend that this isn’t scaring the ever-living shit out of them.
But there have been casualties along the way. The sobering bit about this performance is the fact that we have to deal with two roads here… the first is Chano’s road of independence. Here he’s kicked ass, given Satan a swirly, is still not selling his mixtape no matter how much they sound like albums, and has Apple paying him god knows how much. For all we know, he’s probably been asked to sell his soul a billion times, but the kid just won’t budge. He’s got his heart boxed up and shut tighter than Pandora’s… on the other end, we have Weezy. No shade to throw at the man, he’s a legend, no taking that away from him... but damn, if he ain’t being treated like a chump. No artist of his stature should have to deal with the shady business dealings that he has, and yet here we are, it’s like we’re watching a free man perform next to his brother in shackles.
But we still get some optimism for Wayne as he says that he’s gonna let the labels rob him like Ryan Lochte… which means he won’t in case you’ve been living under a rock this summer. But, in the words of DJ Khaled… I don’t think THEY wanted you to see this performance. Chance even says that he was turned down multiple times for this specific performance until Ellen finally said yes. I don’t think THEY wanted you to see Chance and Wayne up on the same stage together, seeing where two extremes can take you. You can be a caged songbird or you can be a free agent… it was clear, right there on that stage. The crazy thing is, not everyone is gonna know where they fall. Everyone wants to have the power of a free agent, be able to have everyone trying to accommodate your demands and seduce you with fame and riches… but too many people have chains and cages waiting. Choose wisely.
Free Weezy tho.