Kendrick Lamar’s TDE Label Wanted To Sign Chance The Rapper

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar on the same label? It almost happened. In a new interview with Al Lindstrom, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE)’s President Punch talks about wanting to sign newcomer Chance The Rapper and the initial conversations that started.

“I believe Dave [Free] was talking to Chance and having conversations,” Punch says. “I know [Chance] and Ab-Soul have a good relationship. But it was just talks.” Ab-Soul of TDE’s Black Hippy collaborated on “Smoke Again” off of Chance’s Acid Rap mixtape earlier this year.

Chance has been mum on his label situation. Earlier this summer, the still-unsigned rapper told Rolling Stone that he has taken business meetings with “nearly every major label,” including a face-to-face with Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid. “There’s still more time,” Chance said, “and still so many stages to Acid Rap.”

Chance joked with MTV Hive that a major label ought to grab his attention in a big way if they want him. “If anybody wants to uh, buy me like ad space on the side of a building that says, “Hey Chance! You’re doing great today” or you know, maybe give me a car that only drives backwards. Something that’s thinking outside of the box. Then again, I can’t say that it’ll guarantee you any type of play. Those types of things are funny and cool to me,” he laughed.

The one man who could possibly get Chance to sign would be fellow Chicagoan Kanye West. “Man! If Kanye West gives me anything! Kanye West can give me a car that only goes forward that can’t even reverse,” joked Chance. “That’d be hard to beat. He can give me my first TV.”