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5 Times Chance The Rapper Gave Back to His Community and the Culture in 2018

The Chicago lyricist didn't drop an album this year, but he did drop several acts of kindness

chance the rapper special olympics 2018 mobile
Chance The Rapper organized and performed at a concert for the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. / Daniel Boczarski/Redferns/Getty Images

Chance The Rapper is a rapper, sure, but he’s also a damn good guy. Actually, maybe he should change his name to Chance The Good Guy? It has a nice ring to it.

 

But while Chance didn’t drop an album this year (he did bless us with a handful of singles), he spent plenty of his time and energy on non-musical projects that helped others, especially the people of his hometown of Chicago.

 

It’s the end of the year, which we all know means List Season™—but at ONE37pm, instead of ranking Chance’s best songs, we made a list of his other vital accomplishments: Acts of kindness and selfless giving that truly made a difference.

1. Chance Created a Special Olympics Concert

This summer, Chance organized and performed at a concert with fellow hitmakers like Usher and Jason Mraz and indie favorite Francis and The Lights. But the occasion wasn’t just to make a quick buck—the concert was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, and all of the money made at the concert went to the Special Olympics as well as Chance’s own charity SocialWorks. “Overall we’ve been about access, just trying to make sure everyone is given their chance at greatness. And greatness isn’t something segregated,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “When I looked into the history of the Special Olympics, that it started here 50 years ago and how many athletes (in the Special Olympics) we have in Chicago—7,000—I felt we should be a part of it.”

2. Chance Pledged $1 Million to Mental Health Services

Chance already has donated more than $4.2 million to Chicago Public Schools, according to The Fader. But at this year’s summit for his SocialWorks charity, Chance turned his attention to mental health, a topic he’s addressed in his music. The million dollars will go to six Chicago-based mental health organizations, which will receive $100,000 grants as well as launch Chance’s own mental health program called “My State of Mind.

3. Chance Went Undercover as a Lyft Driver

OK, let’s be real—if Chance is your Lyft driver, you’re probably gonna notice. But regardless of Chance’s pretty terrible disguise, this was a funny video for a great cause. Chance was there to support Lyft’s Round-Up & Donate tool, which benefits Chicago Public Schools.

4. Chance Bought Chicagoist

When news broke that Chance was buying Chicago digital news outlet Chicagoist, some were understandably skeptical. After all, what does Chance know about digital publishing? And some were quick to point out his occasionally turbulent relationship with the media. But so far, Chance’s work with the outlet has been well-made, creative and focused on making a difference. The brand’s return to the media scene was a hilariously old-school, educational explainer video about the role of Aldermen in Chicago starring Chance himself. Chicago Tribune called the video “funny and genuinely informative”—a good sign for the outlet’s future coverage of the city.

5. Chance Lit a 45-Foot Christmas Tree in Chicago

Sometimes, community service isn’t about donating millions of dollars—it’s about being present in the community. That’s precisely what Chance did in November when he got to light the 45-foot Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was one way for Chance to give back to the community he’s been a part of his whole life. “I’ve been coming here since I was most of you guys’ age. Running around here on field trips. And it’s just a beautiful place to be. A beautiful time of the year,” he said.

 

What to read next: 10 Perfect Music Merch Gifts for the Holidays

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