Chance The Rapper has found himself in the headlines a lot lately.
Whether it's his impending third mixtape, collaboration with the Chicago White Sox, new video for "Angels" or his recent appearance alongside President Obama at the White House, the headlines have largely been positive for the 22-year-old star. In the midst of this perfect storm of positive PR though, one man decided to stray from the pack. That man is NY Post writer Phil Mushnick, the kind of guy who reaches over the sneeze guard at Chipotle and probably thought really seriously about voting for Donald Trump. While writing for the New York Post is indicative enough of his journalism skills, Mushnick made sure no one in Chicago fucks with him by writing a piece today essentially undercutting Chance's forward momentum by taking issue with several lines from a single song of his and skewing the meanings worse than Bill O'Reilly having a circle jerk with Mike Huckabee in the No Spin Zone.
Backing up for a moment, let's take a quick look at the comments from Mushnick, who decided to look past anything good in the world and run a story Monday in the Post with the title: "White Sox Deal with Offensive Rapper Shows How Low We've Fallen". The out-of-touch 50-something points to Chance's song "Smoke Again" off his Acid Rap release to explain why, in his opinion, the Chicago White Sox teaming up with a kid who grew up nearby and supports his city from the ground up would be a bad idea.
Funny thing is, this isn't the first time Chance has had beef with an out of touch geriatric from the East Coast. In fact, it's not the first time in the first time this has happened in the last couple of months. It's not the first time he's had to deal with under-handed comments either. Mushnick's sentiments, age and general inability to get in touch with the youth closely mirror the attitude and ideology of Spike Lee, who took potshots at Chance late last year as his Chiraq movie tanked under negative reviews. Before them though, it was Drake, Troy Ave and several others who thought it sweet to diss on Chicago's favored son. At each juncture though, Chano found a way to disarm the bullshit by speaking in action and not words, this latest move a furtherance of that. It's something he makes note of too in his most recent single, "Angels" when he raps: ""Got the industry in disbelief, they be asking for beef". The son of a successful and shrewd politician, you're not getting an unwilling sound bite out of Chance. It's with that in mind that we take a look back on his best curves on the competition. It's also Chance's birthday. Happy birthday, Chano!
Chance v. Drake: "Draft Day Freestyle"
Chance was very much still on the come up when the 6ix God turned his sights on him with a direct and somewhat awkward mention smack dab in the middle of his Johnny Manziel circle jerk that was "Draft Day Freestyle". Taking a brief break from touting Manziel as the next big thing in the NFL (dude's currently a free agent), Drake rapped: "If I left this shit to chance I would’ve picked a name like Chance the Rapper/No offense cause I don’t know that nigga." At once a confusing jab and a rite of passage for Chano who, in 2014, was very much still a new face on the national scene. I specifically remember Chance sitting with his head close to the speakers in the basement of the old Avondale house listening closely as the verse was played over and over, a somewhat distant look in his eye. True to form, he eschewed any rebuttal and instead was spotted backstage with Drake at the United Center when the latter came to town, Chance playing willful ambassador. Fun fact: play this track around Eric and he'll turn the volume all the way down every time this verse comes up, haha.
Chance V. Troy Ave: Weirdoes & Drug Addicts
The career of Troy Ave reads like most acts touted as the 'King of New York" or whatever they're still chasing out east. A true tale of hubris, dude's plummeting fall can really be traced back to his initial interactions with Chance himself. See, Troy Ave made an XXL Freshman cover, probably chosen by the same guy that put on Fred The Godson, but I digress. Troy was decidedly excited, and why not? The XXL mention would end up becoming perhaps the biggest accolade he would receive from that point on. Thing is, Troy Ave lacks a lot of foresight and didn't predict what the rest of us did for his fledgling career and decided to stir the pot around the shoots for the cover story, calling out Chance specifically as a "Weirdo Rapper". You know, because anyone not in Timberlands and boot cut jeans just isn't hip-hop. He also went as far as to call him a drug addict, at once off-base and questionable as far as hip-hop disses go. Chance once again passed on responding and let action speak for itself. Troy Ave has one of the most disappointing album releases of 2015 despite having damn near every big name NYC ever produced on it and is largely now a punchline.
Chance V. Spike Lee: The Old Man & The Movie
One of the most well-documented beefs that Chance has found himself in over the years is easily his back and forth with Spike Lee over the latter's Chiraq movie which was a gross misrepresentation of the city Chance strives to portray and progress forward. While Chance technically started things by tweeting about the project in negative terms but Lee's response was shitty to say the least, focusing instead on Chance's father and his relationship to the mayor rather than snapping back on the merits of his artistic work that were central to the original comments anyway. Since then, there's been considerable back and forth and Lee has essentially ruined any sort of reputation he may have once had in the city by going unnecessarily for the hometown kid's head. Chance, for the most part, has let it slide, although there is that mention on "Angels". I wrote a lot about it at the time, read it here.