Chance The Rapper hit the stage tonight to accept the prestigious Humanitarian Award–and his glory-filled speech did not disappoint.
The Chicago native, who burst onto the scene with his spirit laden mixtape, Coloring Book, humbling accepted the honor. Chance has been vocally committed to encouraging fine arts education in Chi-town’s low income school districts. Chance’s educational efforts in his hometown have not gone unnoticed, even former First Lady Michelle Obama left a touching video message for the special moment.
“I’m honored to call you my friend,” Obama said before Chance took the stage.
“This is wildly overwhelming, I didn’t think it was going to be this cray but uh, I didn’t prepare a speech,” Chance began.
Speaking from the heart, the 24-year-old said he was overwhelmed. “To be receiving something like this at my age feels good as hell…I love this…I love Black people ya’ll,” he said as the crowd roared.
“It feels a little early to get something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes.”
His tone then took a political turn, speaking out against police brutality, the crooked education system and unwarranted prison sentences. “Let everyone out of jail for selling weed before ya’ll start making capital out of it,” he told the audience.
He again, expressed he felt receiving this award came early in his career, but quickly shifted from humility to gratitude.
“My god is putting the pressure on me so I can become who I’m supposed to be.” he concluded.
Jesse Williams was last year’s recipient of the honor.