When the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, congratulates another Chicago native for their humanitarian work, then there is certainly something remarkable about that individual.
During the 2017 BET Awards, Chance the Rapper was the first rapper and youngest person ever to receive the BET Awards’ Humanitarian Award, thus placing him in a category with icons, such as Muhammad Ali, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Denzel Washington.
From a hip hop standpoint, this achievement is extraordinary. It creates a culture in the industry for social change. For example, when emcees like Dr. Dre, Diddy, and Jay-Z give millions to important causes, including for education and relief for natural disasters, it shows that there is more to life than spinning records.
Chance the Rapper has learned from these prominent rap artists and taken his humanitarian work to a different level, claiming that people should be let out of prison for selling marijuana and openly stating that he strives to be a “better man”.
Whether people agree with Chance’s opinions or enjoy his music, that is beside the point. One can marvel at his $1 million donation to Chicago public schools in order to support art and enrichment programs, especially considering that Chance is a product of that Chicago education system; it shows leadership and a certain level of compassion to care for one’s community.
The Coloring Book emcee should be applauded for his efforts, and serve as an example for what other hip hop artists, young and old, should strive to be like when it comes to social activism.