Chance the Rapper and Khalid are both big names in each of their respective genres at the moment, and their claims to fame have been nothing short of magnificence. Each one is crushing expectations within the music industry, whether it’s from making gospel music mainstream, or a soul voice busting out some catchy and upbeat jams. They both deserve everything positive that comes their way, and it shows through the unique artistry that they exemplify in their music.
Let’s start with the bigger household name of the two, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett. Better known as Chance the Rapper, he hails from the city of Chicago, IL. At just 23 years of age, he already has three coveted Grammy awards to his name for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance. Not too shabby for someone nominated for a total of seven on music’s biggest night. His latest album/mixtape, Coloring Book, garnered marvelous critic reviews and tons of new fans with his combinations of guest voices like Justin Bieber to Kirk Franklin, and even his own cousin was featured on the album. The type of artist that Chance is almost transcends barriers that people didn’t think could be knocked down, and it’s something refreshing that the rap world didn’t even know they needed. With an impressive 10,333,205 monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s not hard to see why Chance is so likeable and listen-worthy. He says in the gospel-heavy song, “Blessings,” “I don’t make songs for free, I make ‘em for freedom.” He is the current rebel child of the music industry that everyone loves. Coloring Book was released under no label at all, nor was it sold in any stores nationwide. Yet it still became one of the biggest albums of 2016, and will go down in music history as the ballsiest move by an artist becoming legendary.
Chance’s success however, is not a surprise at all considering that his entire career has been a steady climb from mixtape to mixtape released, and with some big help along the way. From featuring at Lollapalooza to opening up for Childish Gambino on tour, Chance’s opportunity at stardom was always within reach, and now that he has it, his fans can only hope his next move is one worth anticipating for, which is sure to be better than the last given this wonderkid’s steady track record.
Now not one to be discredited for what he has done so far at the tender age of 19, Khalid is a fast-track up and coming R&B artist from the city of El Paso, Texas. With 8,393, 913 monthly listeners on Spotify, not too far behind Chance the Rapper, and 245k followers on Instagram, Khalid’s popularity has definitely been skyrocketed through the wonders of social media, and is not anything to scoff at. Supposedly having his song featured on Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat story led a huge amount of people to seek him out on Soundcloud, where he was posting music for at least a year before being discovered. Raised in a military family, Khalid was always moving around from place to place, like Germany, New York, and Texas. His senior year of high school was spent in El Paso, at Americas High School where he felt the most at home. Although he has only been in Texas for such a short amount of time, Khalid has said that El Paso really accepted him and that’s what led him to consider it his hometown.
Having just turned 19, Khalid already has an impressive resume with the release of his full-length album, American Teen, coming out at the beginning of this month, and recently performing his biggest hit, “Location,” live on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show for all of America to be introduced to his deep and soulful voice. His songs are filled with tales of heartbreak, heartache, and the hardships of being young and in love. The majority of them are hidden behind fast-paced beats that encaptures the listener into forgetting the pain behind the lyrics. In one song off of the album, “Keep Me,” Khalid croons to the girl he likes, “You should walk away with me in your heart, keep me in your mind.” With a solid fanbase behind him, Khalid is sure to a name to listen out for in the future because his energy and presence in the R&B world is only going to become more prominent.