How Chance The Rapper’s Manager Reimagined the Music Business

Chance The Rapper and Pat Corcoran
Chance The Rapper and Pat “The Manager” Corcoran at. (Photo source: Instagram)

The rise of Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, a.k.a. Chance The Rapper, is an incredible story. Without a record label or publishing deal, the Chicago native has become one of the most popular rappers in the world. His last full-length release, Coloring Book, became the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy and chart on the Billboard 200.

But, like many groundbreaking artists, Chance has a savvy and ambitious manager working behind the scenes. In a recent interview with Complex, Pat “The Manager” Corcoran provided a detailed account of how he got the job and helped steer the rapper to success. The conversation is full of valuable insights into the music industry — and life.

On the influence of his parents:

“Most kids grow up with idols like Michael Jordan or are like Kanye West. For me when I grew up, my parents were my idols. My dad was always just incredible. The first thing I remember him teaching me about was reputation. … My dad would always drill into us like, your reputation is everything,’you know. It’s what proceeds you and it’s what people are gonna know about you after you’re gone.”

On his management style:

“I wasn’t in the position or in the role of saying like, yes or no to people [at label meetings]. It was more of like just being there for Chance and helping him filter this … [I’m] a guy who’s like, ‘yeah, I got your back, but at the end of the day I want you to make a decision for you, what’s right for you and your family …”

On not being signed to a label or publisher:

“There wasn’t really one conversation that I can recall where we just said ‘we’re not gonna do it’ or he said ‘I’m not gonna do it.’ It was just sort of the unspoken conclusion, like, this is not gonna work for us. We’re feeling this roll already. We don’t need the help of a major label.”

On their decision to release Coloring Book exclusively on Apple Music:

“We spoke with everyone: Tidal, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, even smaller streaming services like Audiomack. It was sort of like taking meetings as a high school all-star athlete and going to different colleges and seeing who’s gonna care about us the most and who’s going to help put us in the right position to win and succeed and have a great career in the majors. At the end of the day we went with the company that believed in Chance most … it wasn’t about the money. It was about the people inside that building …”

His advice to others:

“I didn’t know shit about [the music industry], and to be able to do and experience the things that I’ve done and experienced in this short amount of time in the game has been incredible. I just hope what more people do what calls them. Who knows what can happen.”

Watch the full conversation below.

Related: Brasstracks Discuss How They Produced Chance the Rapper’s ‘No Problem’