May / 29
When we decided to give Chance The Rapper the cover of this issue we knew we wanted to do some next level shit. So we hit up Elevator staff photographers, Danny Manhattan and came up with the idea of a cinemagraph; a video and photography hybrid recreating the #10DAY cover with our own style. After several hours of composting, Danny Manhattan delivered exactly what we needed for our interview with Chance. Check out the cinemagraph while you get to know one of Chicago’s most talked about young MC’s in our #10DAY Talk with Chance The Rapper.
ELEVATOR: You talked about being into an instrumental sound. Did you ever play any instruments yourself?
CHANCE: I played keys and tenor saxophone, I learned violin for a little minute and I’ve dabbled with a couple percussion instruments. But I never really picked up on anything. Never really fell in love with anything, like I did with rap. I really did love playin piano, and I still fuck around with it. But there is just something to using your words and talking to a crowd that’s really different.
ELEVATOR: What’s the story behind “22 OFFS”?
CHANCE: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Jay-Z’s “22 Two’s” from the Reasonable Doubt album? When he was really on the come up he would go to hip hop clubs and open mic’s, and what he would do is spit this freestyle that wasn’t actually a freestyle but it would get him mad looks and shit, and it was called “22 Two’s”. He would just spit this long ass 16 [bar] where he used the word “two” in a million different ways.
The same thing kinda happened to me with “22 OFFS”. It was actually the first song that I wrote on #10DAY. I wrote it like the first or second day that I was on suspension. And I figured it was ill on some wordplay shit. But if you listen to the song, even though I’m playing around with the words, using off in a billion different ways, I’m also telling the story of when I got suspended and shit. Like there is a line, “I was off campus but the officer told the office that he saw me from the parking lot” and that’s actually what happened. I was a badass kid in high school. I used to get into fights and shit, randomly vandalize the school on some little rebellious kid type shit. So at one point, the school was just waiting for me to fuck up. I was smoking on the street and the police officer saw me walking across the street when I passed by the school, and followed me a couple blocks down till he saw where I went and watched me smoke. Then after I was done he came over and grabbed the bud and took me back to the school and told the office that he saw me smoking on the way there, which wasn’t true. So it’s me telling a story but its also me playing on the fact that Jay-Z would the different uses of the same word 22 times in one song. I think I use it like 27 times, somebody told me; but basically the same shit.
ELEVATOR: We saw that you tweeted about going on tour with Childish Gambino. What shows do you have coming up with him?
CHANCE: Yeah, I already did a show in Minnesota with him, and I’ve got two dates comin up. A Denver show and show in St. Louis with him. Yeah, I fuck with him as an actor, as a musician he’s ridiculous, and as a performer, his set live is really rediculous. I don’t think there are a lot of artists that really put that much into their live sets like he does.
ELEVATOR: Talk about the SAVEMONEY crew.
CHANCE: I think people misconstrew the whole idea of the SAVEMONEY thing. You know what I’m sayin; there are so many people that are a part of the movement. It’s realy like a movement and a family more than another music group or like a hot ass crew. It’s just like a group of people that fuck with each other. But specifically artists that align themselves with SAVEMONEY, Kami de Chukwu is hot as fuck on the underground hip hop tip. But people should definitely listen to Kami de Chukwu, Vic Mensa, Kids These Days, Nico Sigal, Ryan Fresco, Kalib James, Joey Purp, Austin Vesley fucks with us, there’s Thelonius Martin. Really the whole SAVEMONEY thing is not like the ODD FUTURE click. It’s not like a million ni**as that rap. There’s a lot of people in SAVEMONEY that have their own craft.