Chance the Rapper has been very outspoken about his disgust with the state of Chicago’s bloody, bullet-ridden streets and if you listen closely to the lyrics on Acid Rap, you can also hear his fear. “It just got warm out, this the sh– I’ve been warned ’bout / I hope that it storm in the morning, I hope that it’s pourin’ out,” he raps on “Pusha Man/Paranoia.”
In those lines, he’s referring to warmer summer months in the city when violence skyrockets, especially since students are out of school for the season. So, with the encouragement of his dad, the 21-year-old joined hundreds of others in campaigning for a cease-fire over Memorial Day Weekend — which is usually considered to be the start of the summer season.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 26, 2014
“when i was in LA My pops asked me to help with a project. He was tryin to get Community Org’s in CHI to prevent every murder on Memorial Day,” Chance explained via Twitter on Tuesday (May 27). He had talked to “Churches, Schools, Outreach Prog’s and Business’s, trying to get them to commit to saving every life possible yesterday.”
“The plan was to get these mass numbers of people out on street corners Friday night with posters and banners with the plea “#SAVECHICAGO,” he continued. “His plan was to get radio stations like @WGCI and @Power92Chicago to say “PUT YOUR GUNS DOWN CHICAGO” every hour on the hour the wk before. ll he asked of me was to say something on social media. and so i did ambiguously through tweets that hinted at an album, or a song #MAY23rd.”
And it worked. People took to the streets with their signs and for 42 hours there were no shootings in Chicago.
And even though i was outta town i checked in constantly. come to FIND OUT WE WENT 42 HOURS FROM THURSDAY TO SATURDAY NIGHT W/O ONE SHOOTING
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 27, 2014
Unfortunately, however, this is only the beginning of the battle. By Monday morning, more shootings were reported, with one man being pronounced dead while seven others were injured. But while there’s plenty of work left to do, Chance certainly got the ears of some of Chicago’s most influential artists, including Common and Lupe Fiasco, who shared their support on Twitter.
— COMMON (@common) May 27, 2014
Stay tuned for more progress. And sign the petition here.
— Tetsuo & Youth (@LupeFiasco) May 27, 2014