Millions downloaded, zero sold. Although he stepped inside L.A.'s Staples Center as Chance the Rapper, coming out of the venue following the 2017 Grammys will be Chance the legend.
If becoming the first black hip-hop artist since Lauryn Hill in 1999 to win the Grammy honor for Best New Artist wasn't enough of game-changer, the Chicago rapper continued the historic sweep tonight (February 12), winning Best Rap Album for his free mixtape, Coloring Book. The streaming-only album made history last year after it became eligible for Grammys consideration thanks to an Awards rule change and tonight, things came full circle for the rapper, who has now added new significance to the line, "I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the grammy."
Back in May, Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to hit the Billboard 200 chart. Now, the record has upstaged mega albums by Drake (View) and Kanye West (The Life of Pablo), and cleared the lane for Chano to win Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for the song "No Problem."
The win is not only a big deal for Chance, it's also a game changer. Chance's win breaks a glass ceiling for the current and next generation of artists to earn recognition from the Recording Academy. Think about it: if this took place in 2009, Drake's So Far Gone could have held similar treatment. In 2012, Rick Ross' Rich Forever could have earned a Best Rap Album nomination. The list goes on an on. Chance's win tonight opens up a door for more history to come.
Chano's historic win is already the biggest highlight of the night, spawning plenty of reaction from social media.
Man U just went crazy on them @chancetherapper congrats bro!— Sean Don (@BigSean) February 13, 2017
Happy for my brother @chancetherapper on the Grammy!!! Way to rep the city fam!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 13, 2017