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Chance the Rapper, Spotify, and Musical Categorization in the 2010s

Chance the Rapper, Spotify, and Musical Categorization in the 2010s TOM JOHNSON Chance the Rapper, Spotify, and Musical Categorization in the 2010s Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, uh! —Chance the Rapper, “Blessings” In early 2017 Chance the Rapper was on top of the world. He won three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance, all for his freely distributed, independently released, stylistically eclectic mixtape, Coloring Book. Driven entirely by social media, touring, and streaming services, his wins seemed to embody the utopian potential of the music industry’s ever-increasing reliance on streaming to mediate popular music consumption. The Grammy website lauded Chance as the first “streaming-exclusive” artist to win an award, and his successes appeared to benefit from the liberational, decentral - izing potential of novel digital distribution practices. This utopian vision was recently rearticulated by Daniel Ek, cofounder of Spotify, in an open letter accompanying the company’s official r - egis tration for public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Filed with Spotify’s SEC registration documents on February 28, 2018, Ek’s letter extols his company’s purported boundary-erasing capabilities for both listeners and musicians. “In this new world,” he proudly proclaims, “music has no borders. . . . We’re working to democratize the industry and connect http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Chance the Rapper, Spotify, and Musical Categorization in the 2010s

American Music , Volume 38 (2) – Aug 28, 2020

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

TOM JOHNSON Chance the Rapper, Spotify, and Musical Categorization in the 2010s Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, uh! —Chance the Rapper, “Blessings” In early 2017 Chance the Rapper was on top of the world. He won three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance, all for his freely distributed, independently released, stylistically eclectic mixtape, Coloring Book. Driven entirely by social media, touring, and streaming services, his wins seemed to embody the utopian potential of the music industry’s ever-increasing reliance on streaming to mediate popular music consumption. The Grammy website lauded Chance as the first “streaming-exclusive” artist to win an award, and his successes appeared to benefit from the liberational, decentral - izing potential of novel digital distribution practices. This utopian vision was recently rearticulated by Daniel Ek, cofounder of Spotify, in an open letter accompanying the company’s official r - egis tration for public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Filed with Spotify’s SEC registration documents on February 28, 2018, Ek’s letter extols his company’s purported boundary-erasing capabilities for both listeners and musicians. “In this new world,” he proudly proclaims, “music has no borders. . . . We’re working to democratize the industry and connect

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 28, 2020

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