Chance the Rapper Discusses His New Album ‘Star Line’ and the Impact of AI On Artists and Fans

The Grammy Award winner is set to release his highly anticipated album “Star Line” late this summer.

Since he first arrived on the pop culture landscape, Chance the Rapper has taken the music industry by storm with his DIY approach that has become a blueprint for many to follow. The multiple Grammy Award winning rapper is also an actor, activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. 

In 2012, he released his debut mixtape, 10 Day, and gained national recognition in 2013 with the release of his second mixtape, Acid Rap. His next mixtape, Coloring Book, was released in 2016 and received critical acclaim and commercial success, landing at the number eight spot on the Billboard 200. It also earned Chance Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance  for "No Problem" (featuring 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne), becoming the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy Award. He also won the Best New Artist.

On the small screen, he’s appeared in “Southside," and was a coach on the 23rd season of The Voice in 2023. Chance made his return for the 25th season of the hit show in 2024. caught up with Chance at Meta’s “Super Fan” event where he spoke about how creators can use Artificial Intelligence to expand their imprint in the world.

“Accessibility is really important to me. My journey is different from most artists but it's becoming more prevalent, you know, being on the outside and working with a small team at the level that we do isn't super common,” Chance said.

“But the fact that Meta AI has that information already and a kid might ask a question, ‘How do I get to where Chance the Rapper is?’ And AI could have a conversation or response about how I started at a public library, doing open mics and creating community amongst other creatives,” Chance added. “I think that's the coolest thing about the Meta AI is that it's not human but it can give human responses to questions and open a conversation that you can learn from,” he continued.

Later this year, Chance is preparing to release his highly anticipated album, Star Line, his first since 2019 when he dropped The Big Day. Taking his inspiration from Marcus Garvey’s steamship corporation named the Black Star Line, Chance recalled how his time in Ghana transformed him as an artist and as a Black man.

“I went out with Vic Mensa just to visit Ghana at the end of January 2022 and fell in love with the culture,” Chance recalled. “I learned a lot about the political independence of Ghana, and how their first Black president learned from Marcus Garvey about Pan-Africanism. He worked that into the very fabric of the country when it was founded. He also promised that Ghana would never be colonized again which led to the emancipation of other countries on the continent.”

During his trip to Ghana, he and Mensa began laying the groundwork for a celebration to honor the Black Diaspora.

“Being there showed us the overall connection of Black folks internationally so we planned to do a concert in Ghana the next year.  In January 2023, we put together the Black Starlight Festival and got 50,000 people there. It was myself, Vic, Tobe Nwigwe, T-Pain, Erykah Badu, Jeremih, Dave Chappelle and so many other world-class international legendary acts,” Chance shared. “Everybody came to perform for free and to see all those Black people from the islands, America, Europe, and all over the world was amazing. I'd say it's probably one of the proudest things I've been a part of.”

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For the Star Line album, Chance shared that it is unlike any other project in his discography. 

“It's a bunch of music that I created with some of the greatest collaborators and I really put intention in my writing.”I've been collaborating with a lot of different recording artists and visual artists to make all these pieces come to life,” Chance explained. “I’m excited about it.”

Chance had already linked up with DJ Premier on “Together.” On the nostalgic track, Chance reminisces about growing up in his old neighborhood and the importance of family and community. He spoke about creating the song.

“Me and Premier made “Together” out in New York. That's one of the more recent tracks I've done because I've been releasing a lot of stuff from the stash. But that was one of those songs we made in the past two or three months,” Chance said. “I worked with Premier at a spot that was owned by a legendary jazz artist and there was a lot of magic in the house. He pulled out his MPC and some old records. I wrote to two of them and another one that's coming out eventually but I won't speak too much about that one now.”

On the song, DJ Premier masterfully samples The Intruder's “Memories Are Here To Stay” which he first used for Common’s classic “The 6th Sense” almost 25 years ago. Chance detailed how he almost missed out on the track.

“It's funny because I almost didn't get that one. He gave me four other joints that I was writing to and then I was about to leave. I said to him, 'Before I leave, let me just make sure that you don't got no other joints.' He was like, 'Nothing for you.'  And then he was like, 'You know, I got one for you.' It wasn’t even on the MPC and he was already doing scratches on it on the board where he flipped the sample from Common’s “The 6th Sense.” Common has always been one of my mentors since I was in high school so it was wild making the song.”

Another recently released track from the project is “Stars Out” which was produced by Smoko Ono, Dominique Sanders, and Dan Edinberg.

“I previewed my new song “Stars Out” two weeks ago and it has gotten a lot of love. We shot the video and it's gotten even more love,” he said. “It's now my highest-viewed video on Tik Tok which is a big deal these days [Laughs].

Fiercely independent, Chance is anxious to release the project but loves that he doesn’t have the pressure of a record label telling him when to drop the music. Without rushing, Chance believes that his music will speak for itself.

“I don't have to rush to put anything and that gives me the confidence and security knowing that it's cool to wait until I have everything packaged,” Chance said. “Then, I’ve fallen in love with it over and over again before I release it.”

“I think what I've learned with this project is that art makes more sense over time. So for example, I dropped a song a couple of months ago called “Buried Alive” and so many people were praising it and loving the song,” he continued. “It was cool for me because I made that song two years ago.”

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