Chance The Rapper is a unique force in contemporary hip-hop. An artist who loves his home city of Chicago as much as he loves his ever-growing fan base, Chancellor Bennett hasn’t hesitated in filling the void of positivity in the genre that’s been open for a long time. In honor of the release of his cover of Ziggy Marley‘s “Believe In Yourself” (the theme song from kid’s show “Arthur”), here are some reasons why Chance is rap’s stand-up guy.
He’s released both of his albums for free
I know that this is considered common practice in the digital realm where information is consumed fast, but we sometimes forget the tremendous impact something like that has. Bennett released both his debut tape “10 Day” and the critically lauded “Acid Rap” for free to ensure maximum exposure. “Acid Rap” became so popular that a bootleg copy of it even charted on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts at #63. The fact that fans will pay for something being offered to them for free speaks volumes to the quality of the music and the emcee.
He helped orchestrate a ceasefire in Chicago
Earlier this year, Bennett helped his father, Ken Williams-Bennett, spread the word about “Save Chicago,” a program designed to stop gun violence in the Windy City this past Memorial Day. He laid out his game plan on Twitter:
“When i was in LA My pops asked me to help with a project…He was tryin to get Community Org’s in CHI to prevent every murder on Memorial Day. He had talked to Churches, Schools, Outreach Prog’s and Business’s, trying to get them to commit to saving every life possible yesterday [Memorial Day].
Their plan worked and Chicago successfully went 42 hours without a single shooting. He’s already explained how he feels about the way gun violence is tearing up his home city in the song “Paranoid.” Listen below.
Individual shirts for each leg of his college tour
Earlier this spring, Bennett played shows at colleges across the country, including stops at Duke University in North Carolina, Northwestern University in Chicago, and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Not only did he bring the house down at each one, he and his design team made individual shirts for each show. Above is the Chance The Wolverine shirt from his Michigan show. How cool is that?
He’s live-streaming his set from Lollapalooza
Chicago;s big music festival Lollapalooza is this coming weekend, but it won’t be kept local this year, not entirely. Lolla is live-streaming certain acts this year and Bennett and his band, The Social Experiment, are one of them. He’s been very vocal about it over the last couple of weeks, too:
“Wonderful Everyday” released for free
In collaboration with #LollaLive, Bennett released his cover of “Believe In Yourself” by Ziggy Marley featuring Wyclef Jean, among others. Less a cover of the song and more of a reinterpretation that puts a new spin on a song integral to many of our childhoods.
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