Chicago’s very own Chance the Rapper is not only one of the biggest artists in Hip-Hop, but all of music right now. So it should be no surprise that a week from today the hometown Chicago native will be headlining Lollapalooza at Grant Park here in Chicago for the second time in the last four years and be making his third appearance in the last five years at Lolla. His fourth appearance in the last five years at the very popular festival, if you count last year’s surprise appearances he made during headlining performance by Flosstradamus on Perry’s Stage to open last year’s 25th Anniversary of Lollapalooza, as well as a surprise appearance during Future’s set on the Bud Light Stage that following Friday.
Virtually four years after playing the BMI stage in 2013, as one of Hip-Hop and music’s rising stars and as his first time ever on a Lollapalooza stage, Chance has come a long way from his humble beginnings on the South Side of Chicago and has his star at the highest it has been thus far. Which is why it should be no surprise that even after headlining Lollapalooza that following year in 2014, on Perry’s Stage, Chance’s star is even higher now than it was at that point. With the Chicago native ready to play the biggest headlining stage you can in his hometown of Chicago, the Grant Park stage (formerly the main Samsung Stage) a week from today.
Since that point, Chance has won three Grammy awards, for his just last year released latest and mostly critically-acclaimed latest mixtape, Coloring Book and was also nominated for an Emmy Award earlier this year. While also being a prominent figure in the co-writing and shape of legendary Chicago rapper and producer, Kanye West’s latest album, The Life of Pablo. He has also worked with everybody from legendary Chicago music figures, Twista and R. Kelly, as well as fellow Chicago native’s, Vic Mensa and BJ the Chicago Kid to Kirk Franklin, Jay Electronica, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, John Legend, Big Sean and Anderson.Paak, to name a few. All well doing it on his own independently too.
Even bigger than any award he has been nominated for or even won though, is the charity and community work that Chance has done in both his hometown of Chicago and across a lot of the United States. By being the first and still only artist to have his own festival at the Chicago White Sox home ballpark of U.S. Cellular Field on Chicago’s South Side, which took place on Sept. 24, 2016 and featured artists ranging from Wayne to Skrillex, Alicia Keys, Lil Uzi Vert and Legend. Earlier that year, on April 16th, Chance also worked with now former President Barack Obama and several other musicians, ranging from Keys to Busta, Janelle Monáe and J. Cole to discuss the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge initiative. Probably the biggest thing to date that he has done for the community though, is Chance raising over $1 million for CPS (Chicago Public Schools) through his new Chance Arts & Literature Fund. Which he started to help raise money to start helping students of CPS and a lot of the struggling school systems here in a lot of the rougher parts of Chicago. He has raised plenty more since and will continue to do so, with contributions even from the likes of the Chicago Bulls helping out as well.
A mostly positive light in what has been a mostly negative-shed light on the city, Chance doing as much as he has and yet again being a headliner for Lollapalooza, helps other kids from the city have hope that they can do something more and do just as much good as well to actually one day be something. Which is why a lot of people here in Chicago are not only looking forward to Chance’s set as one of the most anticipated at next week’s Lollapalooza, but to see what possible surprises and tricks he has up his sleeve. Being here in mine and his hometown of Chicago, it’s going to be pretty hard for him to top the surprise he had of bringing out R. Kelly when he headlined Lolla back in 2014, but if anybody could top that, he is probably one of the few who can. So, I and I’m sure many others can’t wait to see what type of guest surprises Chance brings out with him when he hits that Grant Park stage next Saturday as one of the main headliners all weekend. With exactly a week till his headlining set, we will have to wait till then to see what surprises the hometown Chicago hero has up his sleeve though.