Chance the Rapper is running his career the same way he runs a beat. He’s finding paths other emcees can’t even spot. His resume has been celebrated, but it’s worth stating again. He’s released the first free project on iTunes, he’s headlined festivals, he’s recorded with Madonna, and now he’s performed on SNL…twice. The Harriet Tubman of the underground, he’s blazing a trail for future emcees to follow. Kanye was begging labels to let him in. Chance is fighting them off with a stick. They didn’t want Kanye but they’d kill to have Chance.

More important than any song or performance, he is committed to ensuring he leaves Chicago better than he found it by clothing the homeless and hosting poetry slams. In a city plagued by violence, Chance is doing his best to heal the wounds. Kanye’s inspired a generation with his voice and now Chance is encouraging his generation to find their own. What makes me more excited about Chance is not his music, but what he can do for music. He has the opportunity to alter the DNA of hip-hop. He’s only 22-years-old and has already done it in part.