Chance The Rapper's Beef With WhirlyBall Spurs New Dress Code
By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 5, 2016 4:38PM
Chance the Rapper performs in New York in 2015 (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for vitaminwater)
Chance the Rapper was all over this past Fourth of July weekend. The beloved local rapper made a surprise appearance at Mamby on the Beach; momentarily distracted Steph Curry from wooing Kevin Durant to join his super-team; and popped up on former Hurt Everybody rapper Supa Bwe just-dropped Dead Again 3 project.
But the most noteworthy (and deflating) bit of news was Chance's apparent treatment at a local WhirlyBall facility. The rapper had a dispute with entrance staff and security on Friday night over an apparent change to the amusement facility's dress code, according to his Twitter. "It's very inaccessible if you're black or friends with black people," he posted. Chance previously championed WhirlyBall in a Reddit AMA last May, but the love affair definitely appears over now.
Crazy how I was just treated at @whirlyball Been coming here for awhile, this new management doesn't know how to treat customers.— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 2, 2016
Don't go to @WhirlyBall it's very inaccessible if you're black or friends with black people, they've clearly outlined in their dress code— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 2, 2016
Don't bother trying to speak with the MGMT @WhirlyBall the new armed security will make sure you can't, per managements request.— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 2, 2016
I thought for a sec that just the 1825 w Webster @WhirlyBall in Chicago felt this way but it's on the website. Sad end to a family place.— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 2, 2016
Chance also retweeted a photo of WhirlyBall's racially loaded dress-code policy, which forbids "excessively baggy clothes" and "flashy" clothing.
This @WhirlyBall Dress Code is OD. 🙄 btw "flashy" is super ambiguous same for "improperly fitted". pic.twitter.com/iAjtBKxFrl— Starrah (@iStarrah) July 2, 2016
WhirlyBall appears to have heard the backlash and amended the dress code section of their policy webpage to remove the more odious language.
But it's probably too little, too late—Chance and his famous pals moved onto another adult playground, Sky Zone trampoline park in Elmhurst, perhaps permanently.
Huge thanks to the Skyzone staff, I love being able to show friends a good time when they come in from out of town pic.twitter.com/kAOuoRMUyS— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 3, 2016
Let that be a lesson: don't get on the bad side of a beloved local hero with hordes of devoted followers, especially when they bring you reams of free publicity. Also, don't play quasi-racist shell games with dress codes. No one is fooled.
The owner of WhirlyBall has apologized to Chance, according to a statement sent on behalf of the company. It reads in full:
On Saturday, a few of Chance’s friends violated WhirlyBall’s dress code and were denied entry at the door by our management team. Approximately 8-10 of his friends were already inside the establishment bowling. Upon learning from management that a few of their friends would not be able to join inside, Chance and his group decided to leave WhirlyBall. The owner of WhirlyBall has personally reached out to apologize for the inconvenience.
Sky Zone representatives were unavailable for immediate comment Tuesday morning.