When Chance The Rapper aka Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, released his debut mixtape 10 Day back in 2012, the buzz that started to circulate about the Chicago artist was out of this world. Immediately he was christened as the next great prodigy of hip-hop and whilst a lot of artists would flounder under such immense praise, Chance has dealt with the pressure with ease. He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music who count themselves as fans, his list of favourite albums provides an insight into what makes him tick.
It took seven years from the release of his first mixtape in 2012, for Chance to release his debut studio album, The Big Day. The rapper instead stayed loyal to his tried and tested mixtape formula, which continued to serve him finely as well as breaking an ample amount of records on the way. His 2016 mixtape, The Colouring Book, was a groundbreaking release that became the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy in 2017 after Chance took home the Best Album prize.
When Chance burst on to the scene in emphatic style, people wanted to know everything there was to know about the new enigma, and in 2013 he shared the 25 albums which mean the most to him with Complex. Unsurprisingly, fellow Chicago native Kanye West features heavily in his list, and Bennett has since gone on to work with Ye on The Life Of Pablo’s ‘Ultralight Beam’.
West is somewhat of a mentor figure in Barnett’s life. He played a pivotal part in his musical upbringing, especially the two records, The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Chance described these respectively as being the “first album I ever owned”, “the perfect example of a perfect album”, “It taught me how to make songs for live shows”, and the latter taught Chance “that visuals were very important in creating a successful album.” Praise doesn’t get much higher than that.
Speaking about the pair’s friendship with Billboard in 2016, Chance commented: “Ye’s number one thing is that he tells me is he talks about being the light of the world. He talks about being someone that can openly be me. I can’t pinpoint the moment Ye had his meeting with God, but he does often reference me when he talks about it. I think fellowship is the most important thing.”
Frank Ocean’s seminal Channel Orange also features on the list, with Barnett noting: “Probably the album I listened to most during the making of Acid Rap and also a great example of a musician helping to redefine a genre.” Chance then revealed that Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP is where he “gets my flow from.”
The esteemed list also features the likes of Jay-Z, Joanna Newsom and James Blake. You can view the full list and listen to the playlist, below.
Chance The Rapper’s 25 favourite albums of all time
- Michael Jackson, Off the Wall (1979)
- Michael Jackson, Bad (1987)
- Jay Z, Reasonable Doubt (1996)
- Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
- Jill Scott, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (2000)
- D’Angelo, Voodoo (2000)
- Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
- R. Kelly, TP-2.com (2000)
- Jay Z, The Blueprint (2000)
- OutKast, The Love Below (2003)
- 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
- John Legend, Get Lifted (2004)
- Kanye West, The College Dropout (2004)
- Kanye West, Late Registration (2005)
- Lupe Fiasco, Fahrenheit 1/15 Part II: Revenge Of The Nerds (2006)
- Joanna Newsom, Ys (2006)
- Kanye West, Graduation (2007)
- Lil Wayne, The Carter Meets The Cartel (2007)
- Jay Z, The Blueprint 3 (2009)
- Rick Ross, Teflon Don (2010)
- Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
- Francis and the Lights, It’ll Be Better (2010)
- James Blake, James Blake (2011)
- Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE (2012)
- Sampha, Dual EP (2013)