Rap fans breathed a collective sigh of relief on April 30th following a single Tweet from Chance The Rapper. Complete with a photo, the hashtag #Chance3 along with a link to chanceraps.com, it was evident that the 3rd solo project from Lil Chano from 79th was imminent as the Chicago emcee changed his Twitter avatar for the first time since releasing “Acid Rap” back in 2013.
With spirits high as ever after becoming an influential part of Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo” as well as an incredible single “Angels” behind him, anticipation for “Chance 3” has been through the roof as of late. Revealing the release date of May 13th last week while unveiling his new single “Blessings,” Chance is all set to take the music industry by storm once again.
But before “Chance 3” takes over, we wanted to highlight some of Chance’s community work aside from turning into a super hero in the recent video for “Angels.”
Chicago’s Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge
Back in January of last year, Chance along with Sway and Christina Milian joined forces with Get Schooled. Started by Viacom as well as Bill and Melinda Gates, this non-profit organization came together to motivate 13-19 year olds to get prepared for college. With their Get School, Get Connected challenge, Get Schooled offered up $100,000 to be split between 6 Chicago schools and community based organizations.
Setting up quests such as college entrance exams and applying for financial aid, students were awarded points for the school or organization they were competing for. Getting a hero for many young Chicago children like Chance The Rapper involved with campaigns like Get Schooled, the city of Chicago could see the overwhelming statistic of 47% of African American’s between the age of 16 and 24 not working and not in school decrease immensely (statistic given by Chicago community activist Liz Dozier). While it’s not the final solution to a growing problem, Chance’s contribution saw more than 50,000 of the aforementioned quests completed in the challenge.
The Warmest Winter Initiative
The Midwest can deliver some brutal winters, and with the high number of homeless people in the city of Chicago, Chance teamed up with Detroit-based non-profit The Empowerment Plan to provide coats for those without a home. Taking donations to make the high-tech coats that turned into sleeping bags, Chance and The Empowerment Plan raised $100,000 to make 1,000 coats. According to the company’s website, their research suggests that of these 1,000 coats that were distributed there would be 14 lives saved. But that’s not all, explained by Chance in a follow up tweet to their then raised $60,000, the coats would be made by homeless people in Chicago to get them off the streets.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) December 17, 2015
Growing up in Chicago, Chance got his start in music through open mic nights. Allowing him to express himself and work on music, these community nights also kept him off the streets. “I started hitting the open mics when I was around 14, 15,” Chance said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I got into competitions, I learned about the business, I learned how to present my music and make it pop. I learned how to spoon feed my music to people who were open to hearing it.”
Turning around to provide a platform of his own to young creatives in the city, Chance has even brought fellow Chicago artists Kanye West and Vic Mensa to Open Mike performances to surprise those that showed up to perfect their own craft. With violence so prevalent on the streets of Chicago, getting young creatives together in a safe place to express their feelings and emotions is an incredibly healthy way for Chicago’s youth to thrive in safety.
As “Chance 3” approaches and Chance The Rapper’s subject matter has taken the stigma of the city of Chicago head on by crafting uplifting and boisterous anthems to combat the violence. Let’s let Chance’s community work serve as an example to other young artists on the scene representing their city’s.