Chancellor Bennett, needed artwork to introduce himself as a musician to the world for his first mixtape, “ 10 Day” which was released in 2012. The biggest challenge was that in reality, there are countless musicians who are releasing music daily; especially in the rap genre. The question that arose was, "How can this album art stand out and establish this artist more effectively than any other independent or signed artist?"
I observed the music market as a whole and took note of the trends. What was clear was that everyone was either using very minimal typography to be the face of their art or using photograph and type as their artwork, there wasn’t much real artwork or good portraiture. At this point, the gap had been identified; in hip hop album art there wasn't really a direct tie to elevated fine art in it's presentation aside from a hand full of artists. The imagination of the the projects being released were typically stripped down. My goal became to do something that would change this in the genre. It was important that people saw Chancellor's face because he has such a distinctive look. I used a style of digital painting and approached it like an oil painting, again I did that because at the time it was not as popular and virtually non-existent in hip hop cover art.
The approach worked and it helped carry the music to the next level. The work impacted Chance's brand identity. From then on, his face became his logo and the brand started to tell this story about this defiant kid who got suspended from school for breaking the rules and doing things his own way. It put the art work up front as a main product which drove his merchandise. Because of this Chance's merchandise became his #1 stream of revenue. The success of the album art led to the creation and continuity of the AcidRap cover art.
For the Acidrap artwork the goal was to out do the first cover art and feed into the concept of AcidRap. So I used psychedelic colors and the tie dye tank top that he wore I hand dyed myself, it was all part of the narrative of Acidrap.
The impact of the artwork was exceptional to this day if you check the hash tag #Acidrap on any social media platform you'll either find current posts of pictures of the artwork with captions full of their adoration for the album or fan art inspired by the cover.
It's was the biggest independent unsigned artist release we'd seen at the time, it was a home run beyond belief which lead to the artwork influencing many other well known musicians artwork moving forward, examples below.
Social Media really enhanced the impact of the entire Acidrap project. Today, fans still share the artwork along with their favorite song from the album and even created their own versions of the artwork in various media like in the samples below.
The latest edition to the Chance the Rapper saga is the Coloring Book album/artwork and the amazing marketing campaign behind it read about the process art making and creating the cover here. The album went on to break records and Chance became artist to release a free body of work to be nominated and win a grammy. The Chance received 7 nominations and won in 3 of the 7 categories in which he was nominated.