TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list for 2017 is here. It includes an array of icons, artists, leaders, pioneers, and an abundance of Black excellence. For the list, Common paid tribute to one of its recipients by writing a story about the time his grandmother asked him to give an aspiring rapper some advice. Turns out, that same young man was Chance the Rapper. Read Common’s inspirational words about Chance below:
“Years ago, my grandmother asked me to call her friend’s grandson. ‘I want you to give him some words of encouragement,’ she said. ‘He wants to be a rapper.’ She gave me his number, and I left him a message. I told him to keep following his dreams. Then I forgot all about it.”
“Years later, my teenage daughter played me a new mixtape she loved from an artist named Chance the Rapper. There was something unique and soulful about it—I could tell he really knew hip-hop. And when I first met him, I realized that he knew me too. ‘You won’t remember this,’ he said, ‘but you called me when I was a kid.'”
“Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label. I’m glad Chance followed his dreams. I hope he always does.”
For Chance, what made the honor even more special, was that his “hero” and fellow Chicagoan rapper, Common wrote his story.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) April 20, 2017
Thank you Common for encouraging young people, like Chance to continue to push towards their dreams.
See full TIME list here.