The stage name Chance The Rapper used before fame
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The stage name Chance The Rapper used before fame

Chicago lyricist Chance The Rapper has been one of a few new-school hip-hop artists who, with a cult following and high-quality music, have remained independent and thrived for over a decade. The Colouring Book creator (real name Chancellor Bennett) came up like most rappers through mixtapes and had an organic come-up in his hometown.

However, in an interview with Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1, the emcee unveiled that he went by a different name before his rise to fame. Bennett surfaced on Chicago’s hip-hop radar in 2011 when he released his debut mixtape entitled 10 Day. 

The project made a lot of noise locally, and Bennett tirelessly networked in and around Chicago in order to reach producers and fellow underground rappers after its release. However, this was the first time anyone had heard of ‘Chance The Rapper’. 

This is because of Bennett’s last-minute name change. Speaking with Darden, the rhymer revealed his original emcee title, unveiling, “My original name for a short period of time was Tony Jizzle.” Bennett told Darde that he believes it would have taken him a lot longer to succeed with that name, stating, “It would’ve been a whole different trajectory. Still in the same space I’m in, but just a different path to getting right back here.”

Reflecting on why he chose that name, the Black Star Line act told Darden, “I could rhyme a lot of things with Jizzle, and it was just like I always wanted the name Tony,” he explained. “Tony or Max when I was a kid. I wanted to be white when I was little, man, I wanted a name like Tony or Max or I don’t know, some cool Scott.”

Although he used Tony Jizzle for a while, he felt that it was only suitable to use a shortened version of his real first name, telling the radio host, “I feel like Chance the Rapper is also a cool name. You don’t know that many people named Chance, and then it’s like you could just be like it’s Chance.”

He concluded, “I’d be like Chance who? You know, in Chicago, they call me Chance da Rapper. Really they say Chandler rapper.” Last year, Chance The Rapper’s breakout mixtape, Acid Rap, celebrated its tenth anniversary, and while with Darden, he spoke about the project and what it did for his career, revealing, “The year Acid Rap dropped, I started out and went on tour with Mac Miller. My mixtape dropped while I was on tour, and I literally watched people go from yawning and looking at their clocks while I was on stage to singing along to jumping along. I watched that.”

You can watch part of Darden’s chat with Chance The Rapper in the video below.