One in a million Chance

Up-and-coming rap star breaks barriers


Students hold up a check for $1 million dollars from Chance the Rapper, right, who holds a press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on March 6, 2017. Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak

Story by John Debenport, staff writer

The 2017 Grammys will be remembered as the day that barriers were broken in the world of hip-hop and rap. Chicago, Illinois’ own Chancelor Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, took home Grammy Awards in the categories of Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album, making him the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album.

“Glory be to God, I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,” the 23-year-old sensation said after winning the Grammy for Best New Artist. “I want to thank God for my mother and father, and for Chicago. I know people think independence means you do everything by yourself, but independence means freedom.”

Chance beat out the likes of The Chainsmokers, who have soared this year with their hit single “Closer” featuring Halsey, and Maren Morris, the young new country star her hit  “80’s Mercedes”.

His next award of the night came in the category of Best Rap Performance, for the song “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. This award was perhaps more impressive than the first, as the young star had to beat out artists like French Montana and Kanye West, who had songs nominated for the award. But perhaps what was even more surprising was the moment “Coloring Book”  was called out for Chance’s third Grammy of the night. Chance took home the award for Best Rap Album, over the big names of Drake and DJ Khaled.

“I didn’t think we were gonna get this one so I don’t have cool stuff to say this time,” the young rap star said. “This is for every Indie artist that’s been out there working hard for a long time.”

The award topped off a night to remember as Chance was also able to perform two of his hit songs from “Coloring Book”, “All We Got” and “How Great” at the awards.

Since his magical night at the Grammy’s, Chance also met with Bruce Rauner, the Governor of Illinois, about the public schools of Chicago. The current state of public education in Illinois is in shambles, as many schools do not have the funds to keep doors open until the end of the school year, giving many young people the opportunity to run the streets and participate in unlawful activities. After the meeting, Chance described the Governor’s answers as vague and not attentive to the problem. So, in response the rapper decided to make a donation of 1 million dollars to Chicago Public schools.

I’m honored to make this donation to Chicago Public Schools Foundation and help cultivate Chicago creative minds,” Chance said. “I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts.”

This differs from other stars from Chicago, as Chance has worldwide influence and actually decided to hold Government officials accountable for their actions with actions of his own. It’s refreshing to see how a boy from Chicago not only changed his own situation, but grew into a man that uses his influence to change other’s situations as well.