Barack Obama delivered an empowering video message to attendees of Chance the Rapper‘s surprise concert Saturday night, a free gig the rapper planned after serving as grand marshal of the city’s annual Bud Billiken Parade.
“I wanted to just have the chance to say to all of you that the Bud Billiken parade stands for so much of what our community is about,” Obama said in the prerecorded speech, which was shown on the Auditorium Theatre’s screens.
“We want to make sure our kids are safe, we want to make sure that they are ready to go back to school. We want to make sure that we are nurturing and protecting and encouraging and loving the next generation of leaders all throughout the city of Chicago. So Chance, I’m grateful for everything that you’ve done on behalf of the young people back home.”
Obama added, “I am hopeful that everybody who is at the concert today, everybody who is getting involved, everybody who’s been part of the parade, that all of you are in the mindset that you could do anything that you want to as long as you put your mind to it.”
Earlier in the day, Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks charity distributed 30,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to Chicago children.
The #BBBash concert, which Chance the Rapper handed out free tickets to while on the parade route, also promised “special guests,” with the rapper delivering surprise appearances by Future and Jeremih.