Chance the Rapper Admits He Doesn't Want to Be Like Kanye West, But 'a Person That People Enjoy'
By Desiree Murphy
Chance the Rapper may idolize Kanye West, but he admits he doesn't want to be anything like him -- personality-wise, that is!
Rocking a light blue bomber jacket, dark-wash jeans and, of course, his signature '3' cap, the 23-year-old Chicago native is all smiles on the cover of GQ's February issue. In his accompanying interview with the magazine, he gets candid on his private conversations with the notoriously outspoken "Famous" rapper, and the downside to being a celebrity.
"I don't think I ever wanted to be like Kanye in personality," Chance, who has been nominated for seven GRAMMYs this year, explains. "I think I definitely want to, have always wanted to, have his boldness or assurance in myself. But I've definitely seen Kanye do things where I was like, 'I'd never do that.'"
"I've always been able to defend Kanye. When everybody's like, 'Kanye's a nut, Kanye's a nut,' I'm one of those guys saying, 'No, he's saying some real s**t.' Like when he went onstage with Taylor [Swift], I was, like, well, Beyoncé kind of deserved that,'" he jokes. "I'm rationalizing everything that he does, but I can't say that in the same position I would do the same things."
"Being around Kanye, Kanye says crazier s**t in private than he does in public, which is hard to believe because he says the craziest things in public," Chance adds. "He does have a filter. He's not a liar or somebody that is going to sugarcoat things when he does speak. But Kanye's said some crazy s**t to me where I respond, 'No, I don't feel you at all.' I always wanted to be more of a person that people enjoy. Somebody that will make you laugh. I'm talking about just my personality, not necessarily how my music sounds. Because I believe I'm a disrupter like Kanye in a lot of ways."
Chance also tells GQ that he doesn't consider being a musician the same thing as being a celebrity.
"If I go to a frozen-yogurt spot, and I get my yogurt, and I put on my toppings, and I go to the front, and the cashier freaks out, she's like, 'Oh my God, oh my God, you're Chance the Rapper. You're Chance the Rapper,'" he explains. "And then the other lady there, she says, 'I don't know who you are.'"
"It's the difference in those two reactions," he continues. "Like, this one girl might fan out, and this other girl might not care at all. But then in a few seconds, this girl's going to start making it very apparent that she doesn't know who I am, making jokes about it and asking me who I am, what do I do. And then, in the end, she's going to ask for a picture, too. And remind me after she took the picture that she doesn't know who I am. It's like today was different in her life because she saw a celebrity. And that sucks. And the pressure of being right and presentable as a celebrity kind of sucks."
He then reflects on what it was like growing up, detailing a specific conversation he had with his father about wanting to be a rapper one day.
"My dad used to always say, 'You need to change your name to Chance the Artist. This song, this is different,'" he recalls. "I remember one day I was with Justin -- my best friend, who has always been really good at school, really smart, really good at speaking to people. I remember my dad would introduce us to folks and they would ask, 'What are you going to be when you grow up?' Justin's f**king 7 years old talking about, 'I'm going to be a biomedical engineer.' You know, he's just that guy. And I remember they asked me, and I said a rapper. And my dad laughed it off, like, 'No, he doesn't…' You know?"
"And I remember that s**t used to bother the f**k out of me, because I thought Kanye West was the smartest man in the world," he adds. "The best poet in the world. The freshest-dressed in the world. That's what a rapper was to me, and I wanted everybody to feel that way about the word 'rapper.'"
"I'm a rapper!" he exclaims. "You should be able to say that s**t and, like, make someone scared in a good way. Like, 'Oh s**t, you might know the president!' It should feel that way."