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'Chicagoan Of The Year' Chance The Rapper Will Be On SNL Next Month

By Kate Shepherd in News on Nov 17, 2015 10:29PM

Chance the Rapper

It's a good day to be West Chatham native Chance the Rapper. "Saturday Night Live" announced that he will be the musical guest on Dec. 12 with host Chris Hemsworth from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2" and Chicago Magazine named him one of their "2015 Chicagoans of the Year".

In addition to all of his time commitments like being on tour, Chance (born Chancelor Bennett) is a new father. His girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl in September and it's changed his outlook on life and given him a new understanding of life and love, he told the magazine.

Despite Chance's incredible success and burgeoning fame, this wasn't the life his father envisioned for him. Father Ken Bennett is a well-known politico who currently is deputy chief of staff and director of the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement for Rahm Emanuel. His career spans from Mayor Harold Washington's campaign to serving as President Barack Obama's deputy assistant during his first year in the White House. Chance's mother Lisa Bennett is the director of community relations for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

He now understands that music, not politics, was the right arena for Chance.

"If you watch him and you listen to him, you realize he's doing more to touch people in the capacity he's in right now than he would be if he were a politician," he told Chicago Magazine.

There was a rift between the two regarding Chance's music career in 2011, but a tragedy brought father and son back together. Chance's friend 19-year-old Rodney Kyles was been stabbed to death in front of Chance outside a house party near DePaul University. Bennett realized that he could've lost his son that night and gave the music career his blessing.

Chicago's violence problem has definitely affected Chance's music and he works to be a positive influence on young African-Americans including serving as a tour guide at the Shedd Aquarium for day campers from Fuller Park this summer. His father says he never pushed him on community outreach but he makes great decisions.

The Jones College Prep alum hosts regular Open Mike nights for high schoolers and other high-profile rappers frequently stop by including Kanye West and Vic Mensa at the University of Chicago this spring:

Business-wise, he takes the opposite approach of Taylor Swift, who wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last year that music should be paid for, and makes all of his music free for his fans. He makes money off of touring and merchandise. His latest album Surf was released for free on iTunes had more than 600,000 downloads in the first week, according to Chance.

"Selling music doesn't make that much money," he told the magazine. "On a touring guarantee, you're going to make on one show about as much as a person made on their [album] yearlies—if they sold a million copies the first week and are still selling copies, which doesn't even happen."