Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Chance the Rapper is 20-year-old Chancellor Bennett, who could have been one of the biggest new signings of 2013, but turned down an offer from Top Dawg Entertainment to remain independent. He attracted huge label interest this summer when his Acid Rap mixtape was downloaded 50,000 times overnight, and his YouTube channel had around 4.5 million views at the time (now 10 million). Even without the help of a label, he’s become the new rap collaborator of choice, working with everyone from Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne to James Blake and BenZel. The buzz seems to be crossing over to the U.K., as he is included in the BBC Sound of 2014 shortlist.