Chance brings God into the rap industry



Chance the Rapper performs on Sept. 30, 2016 in London.

By Brandon Zegiel, Columnist

Chicago’s Chance the Rapper took center stage at the Grammys the other night, accepting three awards for best new artist, best rap album and rap performance. At 23 years old, his lyrics offer meaningful interpretations of the world, incorporating his religious values into his public statements and music.

When Chance was greeted with an award for best new artist, he said, “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.”`  

All of his music is available for free. It was Chance’s decision to ignore the labels who hoped to sign him, instead keeping his music public. In his song, “Blessings,” he captures an image I dream to see in the future. In short, it’s about falling in love and becoming a family man, centering God in the middle of everything.

When he stated the part about his family and God in his acceptance speech, I instantly made the connection between what he was saying and the song “Blessings.” And while he connected me to his music, he drew a bigger picture connecting me to my faith.

Throughout my life, Christianity has been pretty important to me. It’s something that I look to in times of hardships, refocusing me, giving me purpose. I do not expect to convert people through my words and actions, nor do I think Chance is trying to convert his listeners.

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Rather, I think the connection is inevitable because of Chance’s values. He indirectly brings the music industry together with God, and that is a theme that no longer exists in many lyrics of the day. He asks for no label, no extra money and preaches to the mass public about the importance of God.

Chance essentially allows people of all ages, backgrounds and income brackets to listen to free rap music that has good Christian values, almost making him a leader in the religious world for people to follow along with.

He deserves much more than a series of Grammy awards for his leadership in the industry, and he’s only 23. The problem is, he continues to reach higher with each new album he drops. This makes it impossible to properly reward his contribution.

The three Grammys Chance took home mean something. Whether others believe in God or not, he has values that suggest him to be an honorable man. Chance’s future is hopeful, as I strongly believe he has the power to make rap something even more monumental, not just in the material world, but the spiritual one too.

Brandon is a sophomore in LAS.

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