Chance the Rapper is the gift that keeps giving. Over the past weekend, the rapper hosted a concert for his hometown of Chicago, and the event was a smash thanks to a few special guests. In addition to some surprise performances from hip-hop’s hottest artists, former President Barack Obama also made a special appearance to send Chance and fans words of encouragement.
At the event that occurred after the Bud Billiken Parade, for which Chano was the grand marshal, Obama sent a video message to young Chicagoans. "I wanted to just have the chance to say to all of you that the Bud Billiken Parade stands for so much of what our community is about," he said in the prerecorded speech, which was displayed on the Auditorium Theatre's screen. "We want to make sure our kids are safe, we want to make sure that they are ready to go back to school. We want to make sure that we are nurturing and protecting and encouraging and loving the next generation of leaders all throughout the city of Chicago.
(Photo from left: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)
After briefly thanking Chance for his continued humanitarian efforts in the city, the former president also expressed his hope that more people are inspired to give back to their communities and create change. "I am hopeful that everybody who is at the concert today, everybody who is getting involved, everybody who's been part of the parade, that all of you are in the mindset that you could do anything that you want to as long as you put your mind to it,” he added.
Chano and the Obama family have a long history together. Former First Lady Michelle Obama previously said a few words in favor of the young rapper during the 2017 BET Awards in honor of him being awarded the Humanitarian Award. "Chance, you are an outstanding role model 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," she stated. Chance also joined Obama on stage at the then-president’s annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C., in December 2016.