Chance the Rapper at the Obama Foundation Summit, Chicago, Nov. 1, 2017.
(Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
Chance the Rapper at the Obama Foundation Summit, Chicago, Nov. 1, 2017.
(Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
Chance the Media Mogul, Six Nights With Harry Styles, Pay-to-Play, Max Richter, Mobb Deep...
Matty Karas, curator July 20, 2018
quote of the day
The rhyme speaks to where the story lands. When I get going, something rhymes with something else, and suddenly this isn't a song about elephants, it's a song about soup. It has more control than I do, and I learned very early on to trust it.
rant n' rave

CHANCE THE RAPPER appears to be the first musician to formally announce the purchase of a significant media property in the middle of a verse of a song surprise-released on a random Wednesday night. I mean, I could be wrong but I think I'm on safe ground here. If JEFF BEZOS or PATRICK SOON-SHIONG broke the news of their media purchases via a SOUNDCLOUD or BANDCAMP drop, I'm sure I would have heard about it by now. He bought CHICAGOIST—Chance, that is—an important local site that has been dormant since November, when JOE RICKETTS, a billionaire who apparently couldn't stomach unions, shut it down. Chance doesn't have the billions, but he does have a generous record of civic engagement and philanthropy and, unlike Ricketts, he's local. Chicagoans right up to the 44th president of the United States love him. His goal, according to the song in which he dropped the news, is to use the website to "run you racist b****es out of business," which, language aside, is a worthy ambition for any budding media mogul. There is, however, one red flag on Chance's resume, as several writers quickly pointed out. It isn't clear he actually likes the media. He famously flipped out when MTV NEWS ran a critical (but not mean) review two years ago, threatening to never work with the network again. MTV, siding with the talent over its own news division, backed down and unpublished the story. A few months later, he told the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES to "get the f*** back" after a columnist wrote about his child-support case. He's still angry about that. He targets the Sun-Times as well as CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS in the song at hand, "I MIGHT NEED SECURITY," in which he raps over a continuous loop of JAMIE FOXX cooing "f*** you." They appear to be the home of the racist b****es he's referring to. It's a great song, by the way. I'm not sure hating the media is a great reason to buy a media company. But I'm also not sure it isn't. I prefer my media to be driven by civic engagement rather than personal vengeance, but I can also see how sometimes the two might go hand in hand. After he dropped the song, Chance dropped a more traditional explanation for buying Chicagoist: "I look forward to re-launching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content." That, too, is an obviously worthy ambition. As long as the owner recognizes that once in a while one of those diverse voices might have a thing or two to say about him. Roll the (virtual) presses... Chicagoist's former owner, WNYC, has dropped the first two episodes of THE REALNESS, its serial podcast about the life of MOBB DEEP's PRODIGY... Four men were indicted Thursday for the murder of XXXTENTACION. Two of them are still at large... MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is in theaters today and you might have questions... It's FRIDAY and that means new music from THE INTERNET, LORI MCKENNA, BUGGE WESSELTOFT & PRINS THOMAS, JAY PARK, POPCAAN, SKELETONWITCH, FORMA, BUDDY, NATHAN SALSBURG, TY SEGALL & WHITE FENCE, MEG MYERS, CALIBRE 50, EXTREMITY, DARON MALAKIAN & SCARS ON BROADWAY, JIM LAUDERDALE & ROLAND WHITE, PUNCH BROTHERS and the 88RISING compilation HEAD IN THE CLOUDS... And in the name of all that is catchy, let us pay our popmost respects to the 100th edition of NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC!, also out today, featuring CALVIN HARRIS & DUA LIPA, ARIANA GRANDE, POST MALONE, LIAM PAYNE & J BALVIN and many more... RIP MIKE DENNEEN, who was making music until the very end (I shared the news last week but there were no obits yet), and JOE SULLIVAN.

Matty Karas, curator

July 20, 2018