Not only did Chance the Rapper receive a long-awaited Best New Artist award at the 2017 BET Awards, but the 24-year-old was also honored with the Humanitarian Award during the ceremony. For his acceptance speech, he took time to point out a number of national issues he wants to see tackled and reformed.
Before Chance took the stage, former First Lady Michelle Obama joined the telecast through a pre-recorded video message, in which she gave her apologies for not being there in person to honor the young rapper and new father. The fellow Chicago native called him an “outstanding role model” as well as her friend. Chance was visibly overwhelmed by the award, noting how young he is and that it “feels a little early” to be receiving such an honor.
As the audience cheers grew louder, he listed a number of major issues that he feels must be addressed, including the freeing of those jailed for selling marijuana as the substance becomes legal in a growing number of states. He then made a plea to the Chicago Public Schools system to deny a problematic loan from Chase Bank since many schools “plan on failing” in his district.
From there, he noted how he plans to work on being a better father, cousin and man by getting more involved in helping more people worldwide. “My God is putting the pressure on me so I can become who I’m supposed to be,” he added. “I’m a good man and I’m going to become a better man.”
— Wọlé II (@Kingwole) June 26, 2017