A group of Chance the Rapper fans launched a website earlier this month devoted to convincing the artist to run for mayor of Chicago. While it seems far-fetched for a 24-year-old rapper to hold office, a shake up in the saturated public government would be a good thing for millennial voter turnout and political interest.
The website chano4mayor.com features a plea from his fans and quotes from the rapper’s songs that advocate a need for political reform.
The unorthodox campaign features the hashtag #ChanoForMayor, taken from his 2015 song “Somewhere in Paradise” where the artist raps, “They say I’m savin’ my city, say I’m stayin’ for good, they screamin’ ‘Chano for Mayor,’ I’m thinkin’ maybe I should.”
Anyone who knows a little bit about Chance the Rapper, born Chancelor Bennett, is aware of just how rare his mentality and drive is in the music world.
Bennett has famously refused to sign with a record label, opting to have his music available for his fans to stream. Business Insider calls him a “pioneer in the music industry” and “the most talented rapper of his generation.”
Bennett isn’t shy about declaring his passion for political and cultural reform, rapping about it in many of his songs.
Upon visiting his website chanceraps.com, viewers are given the option to support Chicago Public Schools before they can reach the artist’s actual site.
He also donated $1 million to Chicago’s public school system in March.
“I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts,” Bennett told the New York Times.
It’s his raw lyrics and honest sentiment that inspire his fans to advocate for him as mayor in 2019.
During an interview with residents of Chicago by New York news outlet, the Root, one of the fans claimed that Bennett’s inspiration for the black community is reminiscent of Barack Obama’s in 2008.
While citizens of Chicago may lean toward incumbent Rahm Emanuel come 2019, a change wouldn’t be the worst thing.
The Department of Justice has found a number of civil rights violations in the city and while Emanuel has advocated for change in police discipline and training, the Chicago Tribune has reported on specific training officers use against African-Americans and Latinos.
“We want a mayor who will fight for public education,” Bennett’s fan’s site says. “We want a mayor who will reinvest in black and brown communities on the South and West Sides…We want a mayor who will let the young people of Chicago lead.”
Public office is traditionally held by those with political experience, but America needs more democracy in its democracy. And given our new president, it seems experience is no longer a precedent.
Perhaps someone like Bennett could make progress for his peers in the position of mayor. His fans believe he’s already making changes in Chicago and with the official title on his side, he can really get things done.
Bennett told comedian Hannibal Buress on his podcast in December that he isn’t considering running, but a lot can change in the next year.
Whether or not Bennett decides to run, the possibility has young people excited. They’re talking about political reform and hoping for a better future, which is something the younger generation is often criticized for not doing.
Emanuel may remain mayor of Chicago, but it’s likely he’ll no longer be able to get away with making his decisions “through a lens of political opportunism rather than thoughtful leadership,” according to the Washington Post.
The advocates for Bennett have become aware of Emanuel’s shortcomings and know what they want for their city. Although Bennett may not be leading the citizens of Chicago properly, they may have enough passion to lead themselves.