In addition to winning Best New Artist, Chance The Rapper was honored with the BET Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards tonight. And before he took the stage to accept the award, a special video message from Michelle Obama played. “We have known Chance and his family since he was a wee little baby rapper,” she began. “Time and again he has been standing up, speaking out, and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve. And with these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter, that they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and that they have so much to contribute to their communities and to our country…I am thrilled to celebrate you here to tonight and honored to call you my friend.”
In his acceptance speech, Chance admitted that it felt “early” to be receiving an award like this at 24, “but my god doesn’t make mistakes, and I like to think that he’s putting this enormous pressure on me to see how I react.” He continued, “I had plans originally to try and tell the world and everybody watching how to make it a better place. To tell everybody in this government that y’all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y’all start making it legal for people to sell it and make capital off it. I was gonna tell the Chicago public school system not to take out a loan from Chase bank, when they know that our schools are planning on failing in our district. I was gonna tell those judges that we just need a conviction when we know these niggas wrong for doing this.”
Watch clips from both speeches below.
— The FADER (@thefader) June 26, 2017
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) June 26, 2017