Chance The Rapper's social network

Chance The Rapper's social network

An introduction to the Chicagoan's friendly collaborators — Chance The Rappers career so far has been punctuated by collaborations with major hitters and lesser-known artists who are just about to break. In the wake of last week's Surf release, we look at a handful of the best artists he's worked with.

Chance the Rapper has been a busy man over the last couple of years. Since his breakout mixtape Acid Rap dropped two summers ago, the man born Chancellor Bennett has toured almost constantly, gathered a band around him and collaborated with a range of folks from Action Bronson to Justin Beiber. In the meantime, Acid Rap was still sinking in. It was a celebratory record, tripped out on soul samples and yelps, underpinned by a wry sense of humour before veering into existential crises.

He also managed to drop a steady stream of impressive new material in that time, further building the weight of expectation on the protracted new record, Surf. He even managed to release a cover of the Arthur theme tune and make it feel life affirming for a whole three minutes.

Surf dropped last Friday. Without warning, as promised, and for free. It’s excellent.

But Chance’s name doesn’t make the cover. Instead, Surf is credited to long-time collaborator Donnie Trumpet and Bennett’s new band, The Social Experiment. It’s also a free-for-all in many respects. Busta Rhymes, B.o.B and Janelle Monae appear on the same track and it’s excellent. If that sounds unlikely, give the full LP a listen here.

He’s been bringing in talented artists to work with him for a while, though. Here are some of our favourites.


Making a list about Chance The Rapper’s collaborations without looking at the collective that spawned him would be sacrilege. Savemoney is a hub for excellent music in Chicago and is starting to get the recognition it deserves. It will take you a couple of days to get through the back catalog, though.

Noname Gypsy

Since appearing on Acid Rap with a verse on ‘Lost’, Chicago’s Noname Gypsy has been working on debut EP Telefone almost non-stop. Her verse on ‘Warm Enough’ is one of Surf’s highpoints, lyrically dextrous and insightful, but in no way surprising given the staggering tracks she’s put out in the past couple of years.

Vic Mensa

The most internationally acclaimed of the SaveMoney collective other than Chance, Vic Mensa got his start in indie band Kids These Days before striking out on his own after the group’s demise. He’s since been signed to Roc Nation and worked with Kanye West on the back of some quality releases in the interim.

Towkio Shawn

Vic Mensa said that Towkio Shawn got his name because he’s called Shawn and he’s from Tokyo. Solid logic. He’s also supremely versatile, so start with 2013’s .Wav Theory and move from there.

Childish Gambino

A lead actor in one of the best TV shows of all time and a worthy stand-up comic, Donald Glover’s output as Childish Gambino hasn’t really been treated with the respect it deserves. Because The Internet is a genuinely important record, confronting the contemporary head-on. His freestyle on Rosenberg, above, is excellent.


Tahj Chandler is 20-years-old which, given his accomplishments as a producer and rapper already, seems absurd. Last year’s full-length ComfortZone demonstrated the extent to which he’s honed his talents since starting out in his teens, and his production work for other artists is unmistakable.

Donnie Trumpet

It makes sense that 21-year-old Donnie Trumpet has his name on the cover of this recordhis fingerprints are all over it. The excellently titled Donnie Trumpet & Emilio Chestevez – essentially a collaboration with Vic Mensa – was the precursor to Surf and a properly fun 20 minutes.