He won multiple awards without a record contract — or even a CD. Here's how he did it.

Last night, Chance The Rapper won three Grammy awards. And he saved money while doing it.

Out of the artist’s seven nominations, the 23-year-old took home trophies for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance.

Besides being the rapper’s first Grammy win, it was also a first in Grammy history.

His mixtape, Coloring Book, was the first streaming-only album eligible to be nominated for a Grammy — the rule change happened this year — and is now the first to have won.

He did it all without a physical CD release. Talk about performing on a budget.

Chance The Rapper also won for the Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance — beating Drake, ScHoolboy Q and Kanye West.

By only streaming Coloring Book — which was the first album to chart on the Billboard 200 based only on streams — Chance the Rapper avoided a slew of production fees.

According to a letter Courtney Love wrote a little over a decade ago, when she broke down the cost of putting out a record, it costs $500,000 to record an album and another $500,000 to manufacture the CDs.

That’s already a million dollars — before factoring in radio promotion, marketing, tour costs, music videos, and the inflation rate since Love wrote that letter.

“The band may as well be working at a 7-Eleven,” Love wrote.

By focusing on streaming, Chance saved at least half a million dollars.

“This is for every indie artist,” he said during his acceptance speech for Best Rap Album. “Shout out to SoundCloud for holding me down.”

By the way, he did all of this without being signed to a record label. And he likes it that way.

“He’s turned down record deals from numerous labels and depends on word of mouth and his Soundcloud account for distribution,” Business Insider explained.

This monumental win notes a historic time in music history, where musicians don’t have to be signed or produce hundreds of thousands of physical copies to be recognized — they just have to have internet access and a SoundCloud account. Talent helps, too.

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Meet the Author

Emily Bloch

Emily Bloch


Bloch is a reporter for the Sun-Sentinel based in South Florida.

Lifestyle, Pop Culture

entertainment, Money and Music, music, save money

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Article last modified on December 26, 2017 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Chance The Rapper: The Cheapest Grammy Winner Ever - AMP.