It’s been a big day for artist Chance the Rapper.
While the name gives clear indication as to who Chance is, there’s far more to the artist than rapping. Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, the 23-year-old rapper out of Illinois has reason to celebrate. In what could be considered a huge surprise to some and the inevitable recognition of greatness to others, Chance the Rapper won his first Grammy at the 59th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. While this isn’t the first time that an artist has received such recognition, it begs greater celebration since Chance’s current involvement in both politics and performance.
Interestingly enough, there are those who are unfamiliar with who Chance the Rapper is. Picking up the win for the “Best New Artist” category, Chance is breaking out into the open and making a mad dash for “legend” status. If that doesn’t impress you, it should also be noted that Chance was nominated for seven different categories. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Chance’s ability to have won a Grammy comes after The Recording Academy lowered its requirements to be eligible to win an award last year. While Chance continues to make a name for himself, he has released his music to the public for free. This would have normally disqualified him from being considered for a Grammy, but the change granted him the opportunity.
Chance’s acceptance of the Grammy was a heartwarming moment, especially in his speech and acknowledging those who helped him get to where he is.
“Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,” Chance said to the crowd. “I want to thank God for my mother and my father, who supported me since I was young, for Kirsten, for Kensli, for all of Chicago, and I want to thank God for putting amazing people in my life.”
Perhaps Chance’s most defining moment was his performance with fellow Chicago representative and rapper Kanye West. Featured on “Ultralight Beam,” Chance explodes onto the scene with unique flow and engaging lyrics. This isn’t your usual artist. For one to be less commercial and more about the fans, Chance embodies the public and utilizes his platform to push political agenda. It’s also noted that he wore his “Thank You Obama” clothing when accepting his Grammy.
Chance the Rapper also won a Grammy alongside artists 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne for their collaboration on “No Problem.” The song’s live performance on shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show sets it apart from the usual, and Chance displays a humility that’s genuine. Pitchfork reported that Chance the Rapper had much to say in his “Best Rap Performance” Grammy speech, in disbelief that he had found himself standing in the winner’s circle.
“I just want to say thank you to my team for being here. S***, this is crazy. Thank God for this. Damn, I’m shaking, this is crazy. Thank you everybody for supporting me… I love my family, I love God and I love music. Thank you guys.”
Chance also shared the fact that October’s very own, Drake, congratulated him through message and desired more from the upcoming artist. Though the “Hotline Bling” rapper took home awards of his own, it’s a nice gesture between artists to congratulate in an industry where competition is constantly pushed. We can only hope that Chance will maintain his stride, sticking to his guns and pursuing even more accolades as time passes.
Do you feel that Chance the Rapper is deserving of the Grammy? Let us know your thoughts on the artist in the comment section below.
[Featured Image By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]