Chance the Rapper Jumps Into Politics With Big Announcement

Chance the Rapper speaks at Chicago City Hall on Oct. 16. (Credit: CBS Chicago/YouTube)

Chancelor “Chance the Rapper” Bennett is flexing his political muscles.

Shortly after the Chain Smoker performer sparked speculation about a possible bid for Chicago mayor, he publicly endorsed community activist Amara Enyia for the role during a press conference at Chicago City Hall on Tuesday.

“I want to work with somebody who is about change, somebody who is about our community, somebody who is about equity, somebody who is about fairness,” the Chicago native said.

The 25-year-old entertainer then revealed Enyia as his “obvious” choice for mayor.

“She’s an activist … We haven’t had anybody who is truly an activist, someone who is going to be active in office,” he added, according to the Chicago Tribune. “So, if you’re afraid of change, you’re probably not going to vote for Amara. But if you’re willing to see what this could be, then you will vote for Amara.”

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Chance also addressed the cryptic tweet he shared Monday night, a line from his 2015 song Somewhere in Paradise. The singer-songwriter raps in the hit, “They screaming Chano for mayor, I’m thinking maybe I should.”

After tweeting “I’m thinkin’ I should,” Chance teased a press conference at Chicago City Hall, leading to speculation among fans that he planned to announce his candidacy for mayor.

But the rapper admitted he has no intentions of running for office, joking to reporters: “I’m proud to announce I am not running for mayor.”

Chance’s endorsement is a big win for Enyia, who is running against at least 17 other candidates to fill Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s seat. Emanuel announced in September that he won’t run for re-election.

“Chance and I, as evidenced by his work and my work in the city of Chicago, have a shared vision for this city,” the candidate said about the support.

“This is not your typical flash-in-the-pan endorsement. Today represents a commitment, the commitment that Chance and I and the hundreds of people that we’ve organized with, advocated with, and worked alongside. Today is the beginning of Chicago’s next level.”

Prior to the press conference, Chance partnered with Lyft to raise money for Chicago Public Schools. Driving around in disguise as a Lyft driver named “John,” the entertainer encouraged his unsuspecting passengers to donate money via the rideshare app’s “Round Up and Donate” feature.

Chance previously donated $1 million to Chicago’s public school system, and he launched the New Chance: Arts and Literature Fund, an organization that “ensures arts enrichment education for Chicago schools in need.”

Listen to Chance’s full remarks below.