Belfast Telegraph

Chance the Rapper invites American Sign Language interpreters on tour

The Coloring Book musician gave out 50 front row tickets to deaf and hearing impaired fans at his Tampa show on Wednesday (14Jun17).

Chance the Rapper will be providing professional sign language interpretation for hearing impaired fans on the remaining dates of his Be Encouraged Tour.

The Grammy-winning hip-hop star has invited American Sign Language (ASL) expert Matt Maxey of Atlanta-based charity DEAFinitely Dope to translate his song lyrics live while he rocks the stage.

"@chancetherapper has asked @deafinitelydope founder Matt Maxey to join him on his Be Encouraged tour as an ASL interpreter for deaf and hard of hearing fans," editors at Pigeons & Planes posted in an announcement on Instagram on Saturday (17Jun17).

Chance, real name Chancelor Bennett, decided to bring Maxey on as a tour regular after they successfully collaborated on his concert in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday (14Jun17). At the Tampa show, the Chicago-based emcee gave out 50 free front row tickets to hearing impaired fans while Max and two other interpreters, including Kelly Kurdi, translated for the audience.

Kurdi was amazed by Chance's courtesy, with the sign language professional noting it is uncommon for musicians to consider the needs of deaf and hard of hearing fans, who are most often forced to bring their own interpreters to gigs.

“We’ve all been close to tears since we met him, because we just can’t believe that he’s willing to provide interpreters on his own,” Kelly gushed in an interview with CBS 10 News.

Chance's Be Encouraged Tour made a stop in Dover, Delaware on Saturday (17Jun17) and the concert series is heading to New Orleans, Louisiana next, where he'll be performing for fans in the Big Easy on 2 July (17). The Coloring Book rapper then jets off to London, England for a gig on 7 July (17) before returning stateside to play in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania on 22 July (17).

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