Thursday 14 December 2017

Chance The Rapper promises to be a ‘better man’ in moving BET Awards speech

The musician was honoured for his charitable work.

Chance The Rapper accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater (Matt Sayles/AP)
Chance The Rapper accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater (Matt Sayles/AP)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Chance The Rapper railed against the criminal justice system as he became the youngest-ever recipient of the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards.

The musician, who received a surprise video message from former First Lady Michelle Obama before he took to the stage, said he planned to make the the world a better place in a moving speech at the Los Angeles ceremony.

He said: “This is overwhelming. I’m 24. To be receiving something like this at my age, it feels good as hell. It feels a little early to get something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes. I like to think that he’s putting this pressure on me to see how I react.”

Chance The Rapper (Richard Shotwell/PA)

The rapper, whose real name is Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, referred to problems in the public school system and with police brutality and sentencing laws during his speech before adding: “I had plans to tell the world and everyone watching to make the world a better place… But my big homie Reese told me that we gotta work on ourselves before we change the world.

“I’m a good man and I’m gonna be a better man.”

Chance with his mother Lisa at the awwards (Richard Shotwell/AP)

Mrs Obama, who said she had known him since he was “a wee baby rapper”, praised Chance for his charitable contributions to their city of Chicago.

She said: “In addition to making amazing music, Chance has been using that big bright spotlight that follows him around and has been shining it on young people in our home town of Chicago.”

She added: “We are so incredibly proud of you Chance. Chance is showing our young people that they matter.

“Chance, you are an outstanding role model, and an inspiration to people who care about our next generation… I can think of no better legacy to leave.”

The rapper was also honoured with the best new artist prize at the awards ceremony.

Press Association

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