The icon who inspired the philanthropy of Chance The Rapper
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The icon who inspired the philanthropy of Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper rose to fame at a similar time to the likes of Tyler The Creator, A$AP Rocky and Yung Lean during the early 2010s. Coming out of Chicago, Chance The Rapper is often cited as the best Rapper of recent times to come out of the city.

Chance the Rapper (real name Chancellor Bennett) came up like most rappers through mixtapes. Bennett had an organic come-up in his hometown and quickly appeared on Chicago’s hip-hop radar. In 2011, he released his debut mixtape entitled 10 Day. The project made a lot of noise locally, as Bennett had tirelessly networked in and around Chicago to reach producers and fellow underground rappers before its release.

Following the release of his 2013 mixtape Acid Rap, Bennett shot to fame and has been one of Chicago’s most prominent artists. Aside from Kanye West, Chance The Rapper has, alone, flown the flag for his city and in a 2019 interview with Forbes magazine, the musician spoke about his hometown and the figure who inspired him to give back to his community. 

While reflecting on his philanthropic beginnings, Bennett unveiled that Michael Jackson inspired him to give back to his city. The Colouring Book musician insisted that Jackson provided a blueprint with his musical and charitable efforts.

The late King of Pop helped over 39 organisations during his career, and in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records, Jackson had the title of “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star.” Although the Thriller vocalist had some controversial moments, Bennett still considered him an inspiration. 

When speaking about why Jackson was his biggest philanthropic inspiration, Bennett told Forbes, “I think he donated over $600 million to charities and more afterwards. Obviously, in his music it was extremely provocative, gets the people going. The only person I can really think of off the top when I think of charity that’s a musician is Michael Jackson.”

Concerning Chicago, Bennett continued, “I grew up listening to were hip-hop artists, and I don’t really remember there being a lot of…Ye (Kanye West) gave back to the people, but it was in a very different way. It was always through his music. I can’t really think of anybody else.”

In 2016, Chance The Rapper co-founded the Chicago-based nonprofit, SocialWorks. In addition to his work with his nonprofit, Chance is known for having donated millions of dollars to public schools in Chicago. You can hear Bennett speaking about SocialWorks with Stephen Colbert in the video below.