I don’t make songs for free; I make them for freedom… 

Chance the Rapper, Blessings

More than just song lyrics, these words really are reflective of Chance the Rapper as an individual and what he stands for. And you do not need to like rap or listen to his music to appreciate the philanthropic act this Grammy award winner has done for Chicago schools. In March 2017, Chance donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to be distributed to ten high schools or elementary schools in low income and impoverished areas. The money is going to specifically provide supplies for art programs as well as support for after school programs and schools affected by budget cuts. An artist himself, Chance believes in the power of art – that children can imagine and create any life they want, unconfined by the poverty, violence or social norms typical of their environments.

Many people have been taken aback by this very generous donation. It is not only an act to improve education. The heart and motivation behind it speaks louder than words or any amount of money. Chance wants to express how much he really cares for the children of Chicago.

Chance the Rapper wants them to succeed. And he’s not just saying, ‘Good luck, guys!’ or ‘I made it; you can, too.’ He’s saying he cares about them and their future by donating $1 million to their well-being. 

Randy Blaser, Chicago Tribune

Chance’s goodwill has shone a light on the needs of Chicago schools and, in turn, inspired others to do good. Later in the same month of Chance’s donation, Chicago Bulls President Michael Reinsdorf announced that the Bulls donated $1 million to the school district as well.

In an interview on the day he announced his donation, the three-time Grammy winner was asked why he did what he did. He simply answered by saying “it was right.”