By Kristen Clure
UC Berkeley Class of 2021
In terms of underrated artists, Chance the Rapper is a name that has been thrown around for a few months. He hit a peak last year among older teens through college students, but I haven’t heard a lot about him on the west coast in a while. This makes sense, as he hasn’t had a concert here since early last year, and as of now he’s only scheduled for festivals in other countries for the rest of 2018 (So if you’re planning on going to Lolla this year… I’m jealous).
I don’t typically fall for the back stories of rap artists, or any artist for that matter, unless there is something particularly unusual about them. There’s always been something unusual about Chance, not just in his sound, which is definitely distinct; when you hear Chance, you know whose song it is. There’s always such an incredibly artistic vibe surrounding his music, and it truly reverberates through your whole body when you lose yourself in one of his songs. On top of why he’s different from other rappers based on sound, he also has avoided every major label who has tried to sign him; a very respectful move as he wanted to maintain his own sound instead of being forced to change his creative flow.
All the same, he’s not the stereotypical artist who’s gone out and supported a cause, but he has actually become extremely involved in making a difference in the community he grew up in. Not only is he described as an artist, but also as an activist, both of which are extremely impressive especially with how young he still is (24).
As an activist, Chance has put 1 million dollars into the Chicago public school system, working to bring an education to as many students from his home city as possible. He’s also been at city council meetings to express his opinion over the city’s budget. He’s invested in the politics of the place where he grew up, and he’s willing to give back to his original community.
To express this in the most cliche way possible, he’s more than just another rapper on the street. Regardless of what genres of music you enjoy, there are a lot of reasons to support Chance’s success as his popularity grows. This is the kind of person that we should want to be a role model for the teenagers who are growing up in the virtual age. Having artists like this in the spotlight gives me hope for the generations to come.