Slay on, Young King!
After a heartfelt introduction from Michelle Obama that had us all in tears (as Debra Lee said, she’s our “Forever First Lady”), Chance the Rapper took the stage at the BET Awards to accept this year’s Humanitarian Award. After Jesse Williams‘ history-making speech for the same honor last year, the pressure was on for the 24-year-old prodigy to prove he can fill those shoes — and he didn’t disappoint.
Taking the stage to a standing ovation, Chance seemed genuinely humbled by the honor. “This is wildly overwhelming, I didn’t think it was going to be this crazy. I didn’t prepare a speech because I really wanted to see what would happen when I got up here and trying to speak from the heart,” he said. “I’m 24. To be receiving something like this at my age, it feels a little bit – it feels good as hell – I love this, I love Black people y’all, please gas me up! Gas me! I was going to say 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 enormous pressure on me to see how I react.” Chance didn’t shy away from getting political, calling out the current administration over mass incarceration and profiteering, and demanding a conviction for the cops who have shot and killed innocent Black men, women and children. But he concluded by turning inward with a promise, saying, “I’m a good man, and I’m going to be a better man.” We don’t doubt it for a second, Lil Chano.
Twitter didn’t take his call to “gas me up” lightly:
Congratulations, Chance, and keep doing us proud.