Chance The Rapper: Activism + Good Music. Whats Not To Love?
By Alexis Alex
At the ripe age of 24, Chance the Rapper was honored with Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards last week, the youngest person to receive the award to date. One of his biggest supporters, Michelle Obama, introduced him praising him for his work in their hometown of Chicago. In his acceptance speech, Chance acknowledged everything from thanking God to the criminal justice system and his daughter, Kensli.
To be such a young man, Chance has already broken major ground in the music industry. In the music realm, Chance’s career is inspiring because is one of the few rappers who have been able to break the chains and become successful without being signed to a label. He does not sell music, just apparel and concert tickets. The fruits of his labor manifested at this year’s Grammy awards, where the rapper took home three Grammys. Now a certified superstar, Chance uses his celebrity to give back to his hometown. Instead of just being a rapper who gives his hometown a shoutout in his songs, Chance puts his money where his mouth is by actively working to improve Chicago’s Public Schools.
To list just a few of his accomplishments:
In 2016, Chance launched his non profit organization, SocialWorks, that works “to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago.” For his 24th birthday, he held a charity event for SocialWorks, raising more than 100,000 on that night. Chance has raised over $2 million for Chicago Public Schools through this organization alone.
Chance created the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to keep alive arts education in the Chicago Public Schools.
After a disappointing meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner about lack of funding to Chicago Public Schools, Chance donated $1 million of his own money to the public schools directly to bridge the gap. He has also successfully pushed the Chicago Bulls to donate $1 million to CPS as well.
Based on his accomplishments thus far, Chance is not planning on slowing down his humanitarian efforts anytime soon. In his BET Awards speech, Chance expressed his plans to expands his humanitarian efforts to the national and global level as his resources continue to grow. Not only does his music promote positivity, he is a shining example of how a black man should use his money and fame to uplift his community. This is refreshing because too often do we see rappers promoting sex, violence, and drugs in their music accompanied with getting arrested which is not the best role model children of color need. But Chance’s positive and uplifting music coupled with his fresh persona and love for religion is a breath of fresh air for the rap community.
Even if you are not a fan of his music (which is almost impossible), you still have to admire Chance’s dedication to charity and uplifting youth. Being that the rapper is only 24, it is safe to say the best has yet to come. If you are not Team Chance, join the wave immediately.