Chance the Rapper Is Harper’s BAZAAR June/July Music Director

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Keeley Parenteau

This world makes you want to be the “safest”, the “friendliest”. But when you let that go and do your thing, it’s the most freeing and helpful feeling.

In March, the prolific Chicago hop-hop artist ushered in a new creative era when he released his single “Child of God” and accompanying video. In the clip, Gabonese artist Naïla Opiangah paints a large canvas, which serves as an illustration for the track. “When I met Naïla, we started having conversations about how artists can be suffocated by outside forces and how stupid it is to create independent of a gallery or a label,” explains Chance. “The song’s mantra is ‘Do your thing, kid.’ I want people to take it and apply it to their own lives.” Their collaboration marked the first of many to come; in May, Chance released another song, “The Highs and the Lows,” which features vocals by Joey Bada$ and visuals by Gabonese photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga.For this issue, Chance curated a playlist around the theme of freedom, including songs that “explicitly talk about liberation and abolition” , as well as ones “that feel like an escape.” In addition to Tems’ “Free Mind,” which he says makes him feel at peace, Chance included Francis and the Lights, about lifting others up, and Cody ChesnuTT’s “Chips Down (In No Landfill)”).” “This song was a big part of me achieving my goal and getting back into my craft,” Chance says.

Listen to the Chance the Rapper playlist exclusively on Apple Music.

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This article originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, available on newsstands June 7.

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