Music by VICE

Read Chance the Rapper's Powerful Foreword to a Book by Chicago Poet Kevin Coval

Chance discusses feeling "ungodly" in LA as a reason for coming back to his hometown.

by Phil Witmer
Mar 3 2017, 9:26pm

All rappers love their hometown, but for Chance the Rapper, it's practically marriage. He lives and breathes the music and culture of Chicago. Thus, it only makes sense that Chance would finally get to write an essay on his relationship with the city for a book by local poet Kevin Coval, who, as Pitchfork reports, is a key figure in Chicago's arts scene and has supported young artists for two decades.

Chance's foreword for the book, A People's History of Chicago, begins with "We got the cheat codes" and then delves into why he left Los Angeles after moving there a few years ago.

You can't uproot a plant. You have to let it grow. If I were to have grown in LA, I might've grown into some shit I'm not supposed to be or just not grown at all, or just peaked. I can reach my peak in Chicago cuz that's where I was planted and where I can continue to grow. I had planned on living in LA, but when I was out there going to parties and feeling that vibe, I thought it was ungodly, it wasn't true to who I was born to be or what I was supposed to grow to be. Being there made me realize this is not where I'm supposed to get my biggest experiences.

Both Chance and Coval talk about how they're important figures to each other (Coval: "Chance is not an overnight success—I met him when he was 14, so it takes 10 years to become an overnight success," Chance: "Kevin Coval is my artistic father"). You can read the entire foreword here, via Pitchfork, along with their interview with Coval.

Phil is a Noisey staff writer. He's on Twitter.

chance the rapper
Kevin Coval
a people's history of chicago