Chance The Rapper Says SoundCloud 'Is Here To Stay.' Is It? [Updated]
By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 14, 2017 5:30PM
Chance the Rapper / Photo: Tyler LaRiviere
Update 4:00 p.m.:
A spokesperson for SoundCloud told Chicagoist on Friday afternoon that "Chance connected with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Alex Ljung, to inquire about the rumors and speculation circulating. Chance's takeaway is reflected in his tweet. SoundCloud is here to stay."
Ljung also posted a longer statement on the SoundCloud blog. He wrote in part:
"There’s an insane amount of noise about SoundCloud in the world right now. And it’s just that, noise. The music you love on SoundCloud isn’t going away, the music you shared or uploaded isn’t going away, because SoundCloud is not going away. Not in 50 days, not in 80 days or anytime in the foreseeable future. Your music is safe."
So it's still not clear what role, if any, Chance had in any (supposed) stabilization, aside from having "connected" "to inquire" about the reports of SoundCloud's troubles. No kind of financial contribution or capital loan was confirmed. Whatever the case, lets hope he and Ljung are both as correct as they are confident of the service's viability.
You can read Ljung's full statement here.
Update, 2:30 p.m.:
SoundCloud tweeted later on Friday afternoon that streaming platform and its music "isn't going anywhere."
*airhorn* Spread the word: your music isn’t going anywhere. Neither are we.— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) July 14, 2017
We’re gonna keep providing you with the tools to discover, share and connect.— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) July 14, 2017
Here’s to musicians, DJs, #SoundcloudRappers and many, many more mixtapes.— SoundCloud (@SoundCloud) July 14, 2017
So, um, did Chance just save SoundCloud? It's all still very enigmatic. But we've reached out again to Chance's management and SoundCloud and will update as more info is made available.
Update, 1:10 p.m.:
Well, Chance just said that "SoundCloud is here to stay." He talked on Friday with the company's cofounder and CEO, Alexander Ljung, in a "fruitful call," Chance said on Twitter. We'll stay tuned to find out what exactly this all means.
Just had a very fruitful call with Alex Ljung. @SoundCloud is here to stay.— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
SoundCloud appears to be in some serious trouble. But it might not go gently into that good, streaming-platform night if Chance the Rapper can help it.
A day after news emerged that that the popular music-streaming service only has enough funds to continue running for 80 days, at least according to a report by TechCrunch, Chance—who like so many other rappers over the last couple of years, used SoundCloud to help spark his ascent—told his legion of social-media followers that he was on it. "I'm working on the SoundCloud thing," he wrote on Thursday on Twitter.
I'm working on the SoundCloud thing— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2017
He was then back Friday beating the digital drum for the embattled service, which recently slashed 40 percent of its staff. He called on users to tag artists who listeners have discovered via SoundCloud, perhaps as a means of recruiting more high-profile influencers for the mission?
@ an artist who you wouldn't know if not for @SoundCloud— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
Now link me to a song on @SoundCloud that you swear you're responsible for like atleast a thousand plays— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
It's hardly clear what exactly Chance meant by "working on it" beyond the short PR blast. He hasn't mentioned anything in the way of capital infusion or loans. Chicagoist has reached out to SoundCloud and Chance's management for more information, and we'll update as we hear back.
Chance shouted out SoundCloud in a Grammy acceptance speech earlier this year. The Grammys updated their eligibility rules to allow streaming-only music to be nominated, clearing the way for Chance's wins. "The victory this morning isn't about me, it's about all the Soundcloud albums that may now be recognized for excellence," Chance wrote at the time of the rule change. He also partnered with the service for his most recent Magnificent Coloring World event.
Given SoundCloud's apparent current state, it seems like salvaging the service will be very tricky—even with a more stable business model, according to New York Magazine. But Chance has been known to go strongly to bat for the causes in which he believes. (Right, Bruce?) And if this week has taught us anything, it's that done deals are sometimes less done than they may seem.