Chance the Rapper is so much more than a musician. He’s more than a talent and a bright light in the entertainment industry. He’s a young man unafraid to call out social injustice and he’s just as unafraid to use his platform to encourage us all to make the world better, starting with ourselves.
Chance has hits – there’s no denying that, but if you look up his name you won’t just find credits to music. You find articles on how he’s making his hometown stronger and how he’s giving youth across the world a platform and ideas to do the same.
For his contributions, he was awarded a special recognition at the BET Awards and he had some surprises along the way. As the youngest recipient of the BET Humanitarian Award, it was already an emotional night for Chance, but things got even more so after he received a special video message from a very important lady.
Michelle Obama gave her shouts of congratulations to Chance, someone she’s known since he was a ‘wee little rapper’ and someone she’s proud to call a friend. She doted on his music and talent but also what he does with the spotlight that follows him. The speech brought tears to Chance’s eyes.
‘In addition to making some really amazing music, Chance has been taking that big, bright spotlight that follows him around and he’s shining it on young people in our hometown of Chicago. Time and again he has been standing up, speaking out and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve. And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter. That they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and that they have so much to contribute to their communities and to our country.‘
She apologized for not being there in person, but the fact that she took the time to make the video was a huge surprise and heartfelt moment for Chance. He took the stage soon after to speak on his own and to thank his God for not making mistakes, for giving him this opportunity so young so that he could do this for a long time.
‘To be receiving something like this at my age, it feels good as hell. It feels a little early to get something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes. I like to think he’s putting enormous pressure on me to see how I react.‘
Chance went on to say that he wanted to tell the world how to be better, and he had a few things on his mind, but he then ended up saying that before he can change the world he has to be better as a man himself. He’s humble and he knows that he can do so much more, and trust us, he’s going to.
‘I had plans, originally, to try and tell the world and everybody watching how they can make it a better place. To tell everybody in this government that y’all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y’all start making it legal for people to sell and make capital off it. I was going to tell the Chicago Public School system not to take out a loan from Chase bank when they know that our schools are planning on failing in our district. I was going to tell those judges that we just need a conviction when you know these niggas is wrong for doing this. But my big homie Reese told me that we gotta work on ourselves before we can work on the world. So I want to be a better father. I want to be a better father to Kensli, I want to spend more time with her.‘
We can’t wait to see what’s next for Chance, but we know no matter what it is, it’ll be something that’s larger than just for himself.
‘…but I knew him’