Though Chance the Rapper released his Coloring Book mixtape back in 2016, he’s remained a key figure in hip-hop. Over the weekend, he was honored with the “Innovator of the Year” Award at Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.
The iconic moment was further solidified by none other than Mr. Skateboard P, Pharrell, who presented Chano with the award.
“To Call Chance the Rapper an innovator almost feels like an understatement,” said Pharrell “He remains independent, releasing music whenever he feels like it. I know it sounds crazy but, it made him the first streaming-only artist to win three Grammys and yes, the guy is only 24; And he dresses like one of my favorite video games “Mario Kart.” He dresses like Mario. So of course he’s an innovator,” continued Pharrell.
After the heartfelt introduction, Pharell continued the praises, highlighting Chance’s larger-than-life $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools and his amazing skills as a father before welcoming him to the stage.
After thanking P, a humbled Chance opened up about receiving the award. “I found out I was getting this innovator award and with everything that comes my way, I still feel very young and a little underserving and overwhelmed by alot of the stuff that happens.”
He then paid his respects to talents and figures who paved the way for him which included: James Brown, Ray Charles, Prince, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and of course Beyoncé. “I didn’t invent independence in any way, I didnt innovate this idea. I am following behind a lot of other people and it takes a lot more of us coming together as artists to regain our control and power as we should have it.” He ended his speech thanking those who paved the way and for future talents after him stating the award was also for them.
Currently, Chance is prepping his debut album, which follows a string of mixtapes, including Coloring Book, Acid Rap, and 10 Day.