Chance the Rapper Performs Concert, Leads March to Polls

 

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“My name is Chance the Rapper. I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I’m here to make sure you all stay woke and vote,” said the omnipresent Chicago rapper from the stage of a concert and voting drive Monday at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park.

The show was announced on Friday as a rooftop concert at the Virgin Hotel with his new non-profit SocialWorks, and featuring local artists, in a youth voting drive effort.

By Monday, the day of the show, the rooftop at the Virgin was traded for the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park to accomodate the thousands who RSVP’d on Facebook, retweeted to get the word out on Twitter, and the friends and family they brought with the them.

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Around two hours into the event Chance the Rapper took the stage. “I got my city doin’ front-flips!” He exclaimed, as the opening of his “Angels” was instantly taken over by the crowd.

He told the crowd he wanted them, the collective “us,” to show people that Chicago’s youth want to make their voices heard, finishing his set with “No Problem” and “Blessings (Reprise)” before he thanked everyone for being part of the event.

Earlier in the afternoon’s mini-festival, after a set to warm-up the early crowd from DJ OddCouple, Chicago’s Eryn Allen Kane performed a short set featuring her own track “Honey,” as well as a showstopping cover of “Shout” and The Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).”

Chicago rockers Twin Peaks hit the stage next with a set that included “Boomers,” (in which bassist Jack Dolan threw in a colorful lyric about Donald Trump).

“Go out and vote tonight or tomorrow! Go out and vote, it counts!” Twin Peaks guitarist/vocalist Cadien Lake James implored before leaving the stage.

Taylor Bennett, Chance the Rapper’s brother, took the stage later, continuing the event’s theme, saying, “We’re here to vote tonight, Chicago!”

“It’s so important for you to make your voice heard,” he added. “Us as the youth, as the youth of Chicago, are all gonna march to the polls together and vote!”

Chicago’s Malcolm London followed Bennett.

“We all know racism is alive, right?” he asked. “But you know what? So are we!”

But the big reason the crowd turned out was Chance the Rapper, who emphasized Tuesday’s election as one of the most important of our lifetime, the 23 year-old stood on stage simply as an American with a passion for doing his part.

“Thank you to all the people who want to be a part of how democracy works and want to make their voices heard,” he said.

“You’ve got the spirit. If you wake up in the morning and feel like you’re just one person … man, you’re so much more than that!”

With that, Chance, along with organizers from Black Youth Project 100, led the thousands of concertgoers on a march to the polls.

Story originally reported by Chicago Tribune (Jessi Roti)

Feel Good Friday Roundup

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Beyonce’s Lemonade album drop wasn’t the only good news this week. Sorry Beyhive. There was a lot of reasons to slap on that Kool-Aide smile, starting with FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s fencing lesson from Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad in Times Square Wednesday. To kick-off coverage of the Olympics this summer and promote her Let’s Move Campaign!

Gotta love a woman that kills two birds with one stone.

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Knicks baller Carmelo Anthony and wife LaLa paid a visit to their No. 1 fan, Anthony Skipper at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Florida earlier this week. Melo and La have been visiting Anthony, who suffers from a brain disorder, frequently since learning he’s a big Knicks fan. So they couldn’t miss being by his side during one of his major surgeries.

Awww who says you shouldn’t meet your heroes.

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Black-ish star Marcus Scribner was picked to be the first ever Youth Advocate Ambassador for The Sandals Foundation. Marcus visited Jamaica recently where he lent a hand for Earth Day.

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Finally, my favorite feel good story of the week is about perseverance and a piano. Ohio teen Darrius Simmons was born with just four fingers, but it didn’t stop him from teaching himself how to play the piano. At 10.

Recently he began posting videos of him tickling the ivories and got noticed by pianist Yiruma, who was scheduled to play Carnegie Hall on April 22nd. He invited Darrius to join him, reports NBC New York. Not only did 15-year-old Darrius accompany Yiruma he brought Carnegie Hall to their feet.

Check the video below for a small sampling of Darrius’ piano skills.

Hope all this goodness is contagious.