The wins just keep coming for Chance the Rapper. The Chicago artist’s career continues to grow, he’s earning more clout as a moving force in a changing musical landscape and his work in social justice is continuing to flourish.
On Sunday, Chance was the recipient of BET’s Humanitarian Award, as well as a couple of other surprises. One of which was a video recorded by former First Lady Michelle Obama, congratulating him on all of his success.
“Chance is showing our young people that they matter,” she said after apologizing for her and Barack’s absence at the event. “Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves.”
Chance then walked up to the stage for the second time that night in a Michael Jackson-inspired outfit, after winning the award for Best New Artist, and admitted that he hadn’t prepared a speech. As the crowd started to cheer, he responded by saying “Please, gas me up!” and waving an arm in the air that wasn’t holding his new trophy.
While the rapper is only 24, he acknowledges that he still has a lot of work left to do. He quickly brushed that off by declaring “My God doesn’t make mistakes!”
With the support of the crowd behind him, Chance continued to call out everyone from the federal government for unjust prison sentences to Chicago Public Schools for intentionally taking resources away from schools to result in premature closures.
“I had plans originally to try and tell the world and everybody watching how to 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 you start making it legal!,” he said to an uproar of applause. “… I was gonna tell the Chicago Public School system not to take out a loan from Chase Bank when they know the schools are planning on failing in our district.”
The rapper/humanitarian then turned things around and said that, instead of doing all of this, he’s going to focus on improving himself first and be the best father he can to his daughter Kensli.