Contributing writer: T. N. Jenkins
61,851 enthusiastic fans came out this past Friday to share in the RodeoHouston centerstage debut of a uniquely talented hip-hop rap-artist from Chicago, Illinois. This young 26-year-old rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and community activist is none-other-than Chancelor Jonathan Bennett who is professionally known as Chance the Rapper.
Bennett is a three-time Grammy Award winner who distinguished himself as the first Best Rap Album Grammy Award recipient to market a streaming-only album (Coloring Book) that peaked at number eight in 2016 on the Billboard 200.
Chance The Rapper hit the Rodeo concert stage with high energy opening with one of his most popular songs, No Problem. Throughout the night, he performed other fan favorites such as All Day Long, Handsome, I’m The One (Justin Bieber song), Sun Come Down, Same Drugs, Blessings, and Coco Butter Kisses. The hyped stadium attendees were eagerly joining in and moving to every beat and measure.
“The crowd was energetic, friendly, and involved. There was a guy next to me dancing on the stairs. He was pretty good! Chance is well known for his gospel-infused lyrics, as shown in one of his closing songs, Blessings,” Tracie Jenkins.
At one point during the evening, Chance had dancers join him on stage such as The Future Kingz (TFK) Dance Crew. TFK are YouTube famous for dancing to Bop. They are also from Chicago like Chance. Chance also brought Houston rapper Tisakorean on stage, and Tisa sang a Chance song while they “hit the mop.” That was a BIG and welcomed surprise for the audience.
During his high energy performance, Chance wore his signature hat with the number three on it. In a previous interview, Chance commented that the number three on his hat stands for his third mixtape, the Holy Trinity, and the three-pronged family of himself, his daughter, and his girl (his wife).
As a Christian, Chance did not hesitate to make mention of his faith in song and word throughout the night. His humble desire to give back to his community was manifested in 2016 when he co-created a new nonprofit called SocialWorks. SocialWorks is an extension of his Open Mike program which aims to create youth programs for residents of Chicago, among other goals.
Chance (Bennett) is a HUGE success considering that he is still unsigned by any label. That makes it even more amazing that he’s headlining at the rodeo.
As Chance noted during his performance, his long-time girlfriend, now wife, is a Houston native. That’s what brought him to the rodeo. So, in tribute to Houston, he sang Barre Baby by Big Moe to an enthusiastic crowd response.
Overall, Chance brought his youthful energy, thoughtful lyrics, and heartfelt performance to Houston in the sincerest way possible. He repped Chicago and Houston well. Considering that he recently canceled all his upcoming tour dates for family reasons, it was an especially precious experience to see him perform this year in Houston at one of the biggest venues in the world.