Never one to shy away from discussions about his religious preferences, Chance the Rapper — who just earned his fist no. 1 single — labels himself as a “Christian rapper” in a new interview with Teen Vogue. Speaking exclusively to acclaimed Get Out director Jordan Peele for a special cover story, Chance both divorces himself from the traditional “Christian rap” scene and singles himself out as a “Christian rapper” who “fully gives glory to God.”
“One of my biggest fears with Coloring Book was that it would be labeled. I hate labels,” Chance tells Peele.
“I never sought out for people to recognize it as a gospel album. I don’t make Christian rap, but I am a Christian rapper. When I was going out and trying to fully give glory to God, in my setting, I feared that people would be dismissive of it, like, ‘This is Christian rap, I’m not trying to hear it.’ But it’s the total opposite: People were very accepting of it. Whether they say, ‘I’m an atheist, but I love Coloring Book’ or they say, ‘I’m so glad I was able to get closer to God through this project,’ people had formed opinions about what I put into the world. I think that’s always the goal of art, is to make people ask themselves questions.”
Elsewhere in the feature, Chance talks Kanye West, racial issues, movies and Dave Chappelle. “My three role models growing up were the three most confident, powerful, important, contemporary male black figures: Kanye West, Barack Obama, and Dave Chappelle,” explains Chance. “When I was a kid, my dad made me watch Dave Chappelle’s Inside the Actors Studio, where he explained what he wanted to stand for. I would largely attribute my identity—as it relates to music labels and corporate music giants—to Dave Chappelle and his relationship to and firm standing in Hollywood.”