Chance – More Than The Rapper


Julio Enriquez (Wikimedia Commons)

Chance the Rapper at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Col. during May of 2017.

Many of his fans see Chancelor Bennett as one of the most influential rappers in the hip-hop industry, rather than a twenty-three-year-old father from West Chatham, Chicago. Chancelor, or “Chance the Rapper,” amassed his following after dropping his first mixtape, “10 Day.” The inspiration behind this raw, and lyrical EP came from a suspension he got from his high school during his senior year. He was caught on school grounds and suspended for possession of marijuana. Instead of sitting at home and doing nothing for his ten day suspension, Chance recorded fourteen different tracks, all about his life in Chatham. Iconic songs from this EP include “Family” ft. Vic Mensa and “Brain Cells.”

Fast forward five years and Chance has taken over the industry. Since “10 Day,” Chance has dropped four albums, all with a variety of different producers and featured artists. What captivates his audiences and makes him such a likable celebrity are his lyrical choices in the songs that he writes. The rap industry is filled with artists that express homophobia, misogyny, and racism in the music they produce and sell. Chance is different from these artists. Even though his first two albums, “10 Day” and “Acid Rap,” were written with drug use being the main source of inspiration, he doesn’t encourage drug use to his listeners. This is one of the main reasons that teens and young adults gravitate toward his music.

In his later albums, “The Coloring Book” and “Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama,” Chance was well known and his albums did well on the charts. This combined with his loveable personality and efforts to support his hometown of Chicago make him one of the most influential artists of our time. One of the first programs that he started in Chicago was in conjunction with The Empowerment Plan, called the Warmest Winter 2016. This multifaceted program gave homeless people jobs to become full-time seamstresses making coats, named EMPWR coats, that are self-heating and can be doubled as a sleeping bag. This initiative reduced the number of homeless deaths in Chicago and tremendously helped the Chicago community grow in a positive direction. The EMPWR coats have also made their way to the Detroit area, benefiting a community that has a homeless population over 2,000 as of January 2018.

Chance has also started his own nonprofit called SocialWorks. Partnered with his close friends Justin Cunningham and Essence Smith, Chance is making an impact on the public school system in the Chicago area. SocialWorks has raised over 2 million dollars to support music education by providing textbooks and a space for kids to express themselves musically.

Chancelor Bennett is a one-of-a-kind artist, using his platform and influence to create a better and brighter future for the youth of tomorrow.