Belfast Telegraph

Chance the Rapper fans launch mayoral campaign

The MC previously rapped about possibly running for office in his 2015 track Somewhere in Paradise.

Fans of Chance the Rapper have launched an online campaign urging the hip-hop star to run for mayor in his native Chicago, Illinois.

The No Problem hitmaker, real name Chancelor Bennett, has always been involved in his local community, but last month (Mar17), he stepped up his efforts and announced plans to donate $1 million (£804,000) to public schools in his hometown after having a disappointing meeting with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner about the state's education funding.

He also started the Chicago Public School Social Works crowdsourcing site to boost funds, and on Friday (31Mar17), Chance announced he had secured a $1 million donation from bosses at the Chicago Bulls basketball team to kickstart a new fund specifically for literature and the arts.

Chance's dedication to helping city kids has earned him great admiration from his fellow Chicagoans, and now a group of local artists and designers are trying to encourage the MC, nicknamed Lil Chano, to run for office.

They have unveiled the website, which is aimed at convincing the 23-year-old to challenge current Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the leadership role when the next election takes place in February, 2019.

The home page of the newly-launched site features lyrics from Chance's 2015 track Somewhere in Paradise, on which he raps, "They say I'm savin' my city/Say I'm stayin' for good/They screamin' 'Chano For Mayor'/I'm thinkin' maybe I should".

It goes on to highlight the increased closure of schools and mental health clinics, and widespread civil rights violations by officers in the Chicago Police Department under Emanuel's watch as reasons for their call for a change in leadership, especially as the city currently does not have a limit on the number of terms a mayor can run for.

Chance has yet to respond to the campaign, but Bea Malsky, one of the designers involved in the effort, insists just having the rapper voice his opinions for the next election could help boost voter turn out, which fell to under 33 per cent in 2015, when Emanuel began his second four-year term in office.

"We would be very happy if he'd become more politically involved and he endorsed a candidate who stands up for the same things that he stands up for in his music," Malsky told The Chicago Sun-Times, revealing they began working on the website before Chance announced his public school donations.

If Chance ever does decide to swap rap for a career in politics, he will be following in the footsteps of his father Ken Bennett, who previously worked with former U.S. President Barack Obama, and served as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Emanuel.

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