The music and arts festival, which will be held in the historic Black Star Square, aims to be a bridge between Black artists of the Diaspora and the globe and the continent of Africa. Chance and Mensa made the announcement after spending the last week in Ghana with eight students from Chicago, whom they brought there to learn about their roots in an experiential environment. It was the pair’s second trip there together this year.
“When Vic and I started our careers and started touring, we did shows all over the U.S.,” Chance said in a statement. “Eventually we started touring in Europe, we did shows in Asia, South America, Central America, but we never had a chance to play our music for the people who support us the most. When we came here and touched down and felt the love that we received and the fans that we got to connect with, the understanding for the need for the connection became apparent to us. We need a music festival bringing major artists to Ghana. This is what we’re working to create.”
The festival title was inspired by civil rights leader Marcus Garvey’s iconic Black Star Line. Founded in 1919, and operated by Black people, the line linked America, the Caribbean, and Africa with global shipping and tourism opportunities. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanian government launched their fleet with the same name in homage to Garvey, and added a black star to the country’s new flag.
Chance the Rapper recently dropped single “The Highs & The Lows,” his third release this year. In March, he debuted “Child of God” in collaboration with Gabonese artist and painter Naïla Opiangah and Moses Sumney, and in May he released “A Bar About A Bar,” a collaboration with Chicago-based painter Nikko Washington. The rapper’s new project, Star Line Gallery, is due out later this year.