At tonight’s BET Awards, Chance the Rapper was honored with the BET Humanitarian Award for his many charitable initiatives, including his multi-million dollar donation to Chicago Public Schools, the establishing of a fund promoting arts and literacy, and the frequent open mick events he hosts for the youth of Chicago. Prior to accepting the award, however, Chance was surprised with a pre-recorded video message from Michelle Obama.
“Time and again, [Chance] has been standing up, speaking out, and doing the work to give kids our community the education the deserve,” Mrs. Obama said. “And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter, that they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and they have so much to contribute to their community and our country. Chance, you are an outstanding role mode and an inspiration to all of us who care about our next generation. Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves, fulfilling their God given potential, and then reaching back and lifting up other people along the way. I can think of no better legacy to leave, and I am thrilled to celebrate you here to tonight and honored to call you my friend.”
During his own speech, Chance acknowledged the odd timing of the award (“To be receiving something like this at my age… it feels a little early to be getting something like this”), but added that “my God doesn’t make mistakes and I’d like to think he’s putting this normal pressure on me to see how I act” He went on to highlight several issues plaguing Chicago. “Y’all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y’all start making it legal for people to sell it and make capital off it! I was gonna tell the Chicago Public School system not to take out a loan from Chase bank, when they know that our schools are planning on failing in our district. I was gonna tell those judges that we just need a conviction when we know these niggas wrong for doing this.” But he added, “We gotta work on our selves before we work on the world” and promised to be a “better father” and a “better man.”
Watch both speeches below.
On an unrelated news, when was the last time you saw Chance without a hat?