The Chicago Public library gave a call to local musicians in the Fall of 2009 to make a love song about our city. Throughout thousands of entries, I was pleased to find I was among the finalists. What made this contest interesting were the rules: in addition to a great Chicago – themed song, you had to upload an accompanying video. Among the esteemed finalists I was only worried about one, a much younger Chance the Rapper.
I ultimately won that CPL contest. My “Bucket Song” is celebrated to this day as a Chicago anthem of sorts, and at the final ceremony in Pritzker Park I got to meet the kid who impressed me so. Chance, the runner-up, was genuinely gracious and told me he thought my song was awesome. I told him the same and wished him well. It was cool to not have the initial rapper rivalries – it was a contest after all. But no…we both appreciated each other.
Fast forward to right now, and Chance is one of the biggest names is Chicago Hip Hop. And he couldn’t be more deserving. He clearly knows what he wants to do and he is honestly a joy to be around. The few times since that rainy day in Pritzker I’ve been around Chance and his team, it never leaves me feeling anything less than inspired. I consider myself a veteran in Chicago now, and I’m excited about all the young talent in this city. Chance is on a path to something awesome and it’s incredible to watch.
Check out his latest, “Acid Rap” at chanceraps.com and absorb it. I was gonna give my rap critique about the album but I decided to tell a story about a hard working young man and my respect for his craft. I enjoy his music and what he represents; he is among plenty of amazing new (and not so new) Chicago artists. If you didn’t know, now you’re aware. Give him a spin.
Chance the Rapper performs at Lollapalooza this Summer.