Chance the Rapper and Lin-Manuel Miranda are two artists who use hip-hop as a vehicle for teaching and preaching things larger than they are. The former uses it to express faith, understand life and showcase vulnerability, while the other takes a sometimes-complicated topic — history, and more specifically, history from the 1700s — and uses hip-hop to educate and entertain.
Now, the two are now covering Complex‘s June/July issue.
For their interview, the two discussed how Alexander Hamilton and Eminem have some things in common, their legacies, Chance 3, how having children changed both of their lives and more.
Check out some snippets of the conversation below.
On what they have to sacrifice for their legacy:
Chance: My father always told me that my legacy would be my children. And I think the most important thing about creating is the way that your music interacts with people, and the period that it’s released in, and the periods that will have it after your death, and how it’ll work in the world.
How kids have changed their lives:
Chance: I always thought about how it would affect my future family. But I’m definitely more awake and understanding of the world and its functions now that I am a father.
Lin-Manuel: One of the things Chance and I first talked about when we met was about being new fathers and making the time for that to be the most important part of your life because that goes on. Your family goes on, and I think there’s a real myth that you have to—I don’t know—live a fucked-up life to write fucked-up music. I’ve had enough artists as mentors who write the craziest shit you’ll ever hear in your life, but then go home to their families. They leave it in the work, and then go home and spend time with their family and make that a priority.
Chance on Chance 3:
Yeah. This stuff is way better than Surf. I’ll say that on record. Donnie [Trumpet] is awesome, and the project was awesome, but this is all of us focusing our efforts into some very hip-hop and very dance-y shit, and it feels good.
Lin-Manuel told a really cool story about Barack Obama thinking about his legacy:
We were at the White House last week and I got to sit down with the president. I told him, “You’re graded on a much longer curve than us. We’ll come and we’ll go, but you’re going to be in history books 300 years from now.” And what he said to me was really surprising.
He said, “It’s actually really freeing. You don’t think, ‘Oh, I’m really unpopular right now.’ You think, ‘What I did day to day, that most people don’t see.’ I can make those unpopular opinions because I have my eye on the long haul. I’m not thinking about who hates me today; nothing about who likes me today. I’m thinking about my work and how it will be measured.” So it’s actually a liberating thing when you take the bird’s-eye view of your own life.
Check the whole interview on Complex.