Chance The Rapper Sends “Blessings” To Chicago Public Schools


Photo Courtesy of GQ.

Public school education has been a hot topic, especially with the controversial choice of Betsy DeVos as United States Secretary of Education. However, Chicago-born artist Chance the Rapper has found a way to make everyone smile when talking about public education.

Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, has recently made headlines for taking home multiple Grammy Awards this past February, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance. After his Grammy domination, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner tweeted, “Congrats to Chance The Rapper for making history as an independent artist and taking home 3 Grammys. IL is proud that you’re one of our own,” to which Chance responded, “Thank you Governor, I would love to have a meeting with you this week if possible.”

On March 3rd, Chance finally met with Gov. Rauner to discuss Chicago’s struggling public schools and their lack of funding. This past December, Rauner vetoed $215 million for Chicago Public Schools, which sparked Chance to meet with the Governor. After the meeting, which Chance described as “vague” and “disappointing,” he decided it was best to take matters into his own hands and continue to fight for Chicago Public Schools.

Three days later at Westcott Elementary School, Chance stated, “This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. This is about taking care of the kids.” After that, Chance announced that he would be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools, and he would also donate $10,000 to different schools to help with their afterschool programs.

Chance the Rapper is not your stereotypical hip-hop artist. While most young rappers would be thrilled to sign a multimillion dollar record label deal, Chance decided to turn down the money and remain free from all of the limits that the major record labels place on artists. Instead, he turned down the millions to release his music via music sharing websites and makes his money from concerts and merchandise. This allows him to work with other artists without taking much time to negotiate with the labels.

It’s refreshing for many to see this young artist giving back to a community that gave so much to him. In an open letter to Chance, three Chicago students wrote, “There are many big celebrities from Chicago, but you are one of the few that really give back. It is evident that you sincerely care for the youth here. This is why you are an inspiration to us. We appreciate you for not only representing us through your music, but also through your actions.”

As a college student myself, and a student of this thing called life, I would also like to thank Chance for reminding me that life is not always about working hard to earn money, like many other artists promote. It’s about doing the things that we love and helping others live out their dreams as well. While it may seem like our nation is divided on a number of topics, including education, people like Chance restore our faith and give us a sense of hope; that we can eventually live peacefully amongst and with each other. The future seems very bright for the 23-year-old rapper, and he continues to brighten the future for many young people.