Chance The Rapper and Social Activism: Why His Work Matters So Much

Chance The Rapper and Social Activism: Why His Work Matters So Much
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Ever since he burst onto the Hip-Hop scene with his 2013 album "Acid Rap," Chicago MC Chance The Rapper has never been afraid of showing his socially conscious side. Whether he is addressing Chicago's gun violence through song or meeting with governor Bruce Rauner to discuss funding for Chicago Public Schools, Chance has always been one to use his platform to make a difference in his community. Not only has he been talking the talk, he has been walking the walk as well. In March of 2017, he donated one million dollars of his own money to the Chicago Public Schools. As if that wasn't enough, he recently committed another one million dollars to mental health causes in the city of Chicago.

Chance has also made an effort to do his part politically. This past Monday, October 16th 2018, he hosted a press conference at city hall to officially announce his endorsement of Amara Enyia for mayor of Chicago. He stated that he wants true change in this city, and that Amara's views align with his more than any other candidate. Enyia, who was relatively unknown  before the endorsement, is one of the more progressive candidates running for mayor. Her platform, which can be viewed on her campaign website, consists of many forward thinking positions. For one, she is in favor of a public banking system in Chicago, stating that it will "reduce corruption, and guarantee more responsible use of funds to promote economic growth." She also said that it will facilitate the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the city. She also supports campaign finance reform, saying she wants to outlaw corporate/PAC money in city elections.

So, why does Chance endorsing this little known candidate matter so much? It matters because it shows that Chance really did his research on this issue, and that he wants to see a difference made in his community. Amara Enyia is a true progressive candidate whose platform greatly differs from that of a more centrist democrat like Rahm Emmanuel. Chance easily could have thrown his hat into the ring of a candidate who has a higher chance of winning. His father, Ken Bennett, endorsed Toni Prickwinkle for mayor, and she is regarded as the frontrunner for the race. Instead of simply following the status quo, however, Chance decided to put his values first, endorsing a candidate who he feels can bring about the most change to the city he loves so much. This matters because Chance comes off as informed and intelligent. He recognizes the fact that Chicago needs fundamental, systemic change and that it will take a different type of politician to get us there. By refusing to take any money from big donors, Amara Enyia will truly be a representative of the people, and that is something that Chance recognizes.

Chance has truly been revolutionary when it comes to his involvement with social activism. Donating millions in his own money to important causes such as mental health and education were seen as heroic enough, but his recent endorsement of Amara Enyia for mayor really sent him over the top. As stated above, he easily could have endorsed a more "practical" candidate, but he refused to compromise on his principals. He chose to put his faith in an unknown candidate, bringing clout to someone who could transform Chicago at the most fundamental of levels if elected. There are not enough principled people in today's political landscape. Most people are simply okay with sticking to the status quo. However, Chance The Rapper has demonstrated that he doesn't care about names; he cares about the issues. He realizes that his voice is powerful, and he is using his platform to create radical, systemic change that will benefit all Chicagoans. More people of his stature should do the same.


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