Chance The Rapper on Leading the Youth
This has undoubtedly been a year of Chance. In addition to dominating the music scene with the release of his Grammy-nominated album Coloring Book and a long lineup of magical live performances, the rapper also took many strides to speak on social issues plaguing the streets of Chicago and put himself right at the political heart of the election. Chance continued his efforts to give back to his hometown by hosting a number of concerts for the city’s youth, such as his Magnificent Coloring Day, which he hosted in Chicago in Sept. 2016. Additionally, the rapper made it his mission help the homeless by providing many with materials to survive the harsh winter as well as handing out a list of warm shelters to go to. But one of his most recent display of heroism came during the presidential election season, in which he held a pre-election concert in Grant Park's Petrillo Music Shell, followed by a massive march to the voting polls. The line of young (and old) voters that Chance led to the polls reportedly wrapped around the entire block, according to USA Today. @chancetherapper is leading a HUGE march to a polling station thru downtown Chicago. People yelling "[email protected] Donald Trump!" pic.twitter.com/NgZwxFoIvF — Sean Hunter (@ReddPhotog) November 7, 2016
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Chicago Students Pen Heartfelt Letter To Chance The Rapper After $1 Million Donation

"You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that's something no one has done for us."

Mere days after a vague sit-down with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, Chance the Rapper pledged $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. “I’m not a politician, I’m here because I’m a dad,” the Grammy Award-winning artist said of his efforts to push for a funding increase in his native city. “I’m an after-school teacher, I care about the kids."

Lil Chano's commitment to education hasn't gone unnoticed. On Wednesday (March 15), three CPS 10th graders publicly thanked the Coloring Book emcee for his good deed via an open letter on Billboard.

"First and foremost, we as Chicago Public School students would like to thank you for the supportive donation to our schools. As we all know, CPS has been struggling financially, and your donation has really given us a push to get to where we need to be and possibly motivate others to give back to the community as well. This is only one of the many things that you have done to improve our Chicago," Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros and Annelisse Betancourt began.

Happy 180th Birthday Chicago. Time to do our jobs. #supportCPS

A post shared by Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) on

The Lake View High School students went on to applaud Chance for his humility as a celebrity, who hasn't turned a blind eye to his community in the midst of his success. "We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that's something no one has done for us," they later wrote.

"We thank you for supporting Chicago's minority youth when not many others have put time to think about the kids. As minority students we feel ignored and as though we don’t have enough support from bigger influences like you. Being born and raised in Chicago is not easy at all. There are so many stereotypes and restrictions we have as teenagers due to the frequent violence and crimes. Your music puts some at ease because we know that someone cares and someone has experienced these daily struggles too. You and your music have taught us that you can be true to yourself and still be successful, still be self-made."

Chance not only reciprocated the appreciation, but he also promised there's more to look forward to. "Huge things to come over the next 2weeks," he tweeted.

Read the full letter here.

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Kodak Black, Vic Mensa And More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

With only a couple more weeks of 2018 left on the calendar, Friday music release are still going strong. The list is getting shorter however. This week, only a small handful of artist dropped new projects or singles, including Kodak Black and Vic Mensa.

Check out our roundup below.

Kodak Black – Dying to Live

Kodak Black's highly-anticipated sophomore album Dying to Live has finally arrived. The 16-track project features special appearances from Offset, Travis Scott, Lil Pump, and Juice Wrld.

Just ahead of the album's release, Kodak dropped the tracklist. It includes the pre-released singles "Zeze," "Testimony," and "Calling My Spirit." The album also pays homage to the late XXXTentacion on "Malcolm XXX."

In a recent interview with radio station 103.5 "The Beat" on Dec. 11, Kodak detailed the significance of the album's title. "It's deep. I be feeling like we dying to live. Everybody going through something and suffering," he explained. "There's a lot of kids who will do anything just because they probably want to get a little flat screen, get some gold, and flex. There's people who would risk their life for $5,000. They're dying to live. We thugging so hard and wondering why the world won't soften up around us."

Dying to Live, which is a follow up to 2017's Painting Pictures, arrives shortly after Kodak appeared on Hot97's radio show with Ebro Darden. Things grew intense on set after Ebro questioned Kodak about his ongoing rape case.

Listen to Kodak Black's Dying to Live below.

Vic Mensa – Hooligans EP

Vic Mensa's Hooligans EP is here with special appearances by Ty Dolla $ign, Charlie Wilson, Mr. Hudson, G-Herbo, and G-Eazy. The album reportedly shares a glimpse into the many experiences and emotions that have made up Mensa's life. While it's similar to his 2017 album The Autobiography, Vic Mensa told us that the project focuses on songwriting in order to tell stories about mental health and love lost.

In particular, his single "Klonopin," discusses drug use in an honest and eye-opening way. "I always make music that deals with intense personal things in my recent life," he told VIBE. "I had stopped doing drugs before I made my last album, and I had moments where I relapsed back into it when I was extremely suicidal. I don't just say these things because they 'sound cool,' I say it because it's the reality of my experience. People are dealing with PTSD and trauma and have few outlets to really address that, especially young black men. People are on these drugs because they're trying to get away from reality because reality is pain."

Listen to Vic Mensa's Hooligans EP below.

Dreezy ft. Kash Doll – "Chanel Slides"

Dreezy and Kash Doll have joined forces to bring fans their latest banger. The slow-burning single flexes crisp bars as they brag about their new drip. It's unclear whether the new collaboration will appear on her forthcoming project Big Dreez, which Dreezy teased at the beginning of Oct. 2018.

Listen to the new track below.

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Kim Kardashian Defends Kanye, Tells Drake Not To Threaten Her Family

Kim Kardashian is jumping in the feud between her husband Kanye West and Drake. Shortly after Kanye made shocking allegations that Drizzy had threatened him and his family on the phone, Kim K. hopped on Twitter on Friday (Dec. 14) to set the record straight.

Kim stepped in to defend her husband, sending a warning shot to Drake. "@drake Never threaten my husband or our family," she wrote. She also claimed that Kanye set precedent for other unique artists such as Drake. "He paved the way for there to be a Drake," she added.

Kim's tweet is hopefully the end to a rather exhausting night for the West household. As previously reported, Kanye unleashed an explosive rant on Twitter on Dec. 13, in which he called Drake out for sneak dissing, sending purple emojis, threatening his family, and refusing to speak to him. Kanye later dragged Travis Scott – who collaborated with Drizzy on their hit single "SICKO MODE" – into the mix and alleged that he also threatened him.

Drake has not yet responded to Kim or Kanye's recent allegations. Check out Kim's tweet below.

@drake Never threaten my husband or our family. He paved the way for there to be a Drake.

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 14, 2018

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Ebro Comments On Kodak Black Interview, Says Hip-Hop Will Need To Acknowledge Sexual Assault

Ebro Darden was interviewed by Nadeska Alexis about his viral interview with Kodak Black, where he attempted to start a conversation surrounding the rapper's looming sexual assault case. When the "Tunnel Vision" MC became uncomfortable, he left the interview. Darden seemed to catch more heat after the interview from the Internet from fans and musicians like Trick Daddy.

"I was trying to show him that ‘we take it seriously," Ebro said during his Beats1 interview. "You’re a young guy, but I also have to acknowledge the people watching this, and we can’t just gloss this over and act like it didn’t happen."

Kodak is currently awaiting trial for a sexual assault case, which is slated to occur in April 2019. Ebro acknowledges that he didn't enjoy how the interview ended, but he did not try to set him up, as many Internet folk somehow believe.

"Periodically throughout our conversation, I acknowledged he had a tumultuous past," he said. "I didn’t even want a response from him, I actually put it forward so that the people watching that know what he’s going through and either have been through sexual assault themselves, know some people who have and just know that it’s a serious conversation, know that I’m just not glossing it over for the sake of an album coming out."

Ebro concludes by saying that hip-hop culture and American society need to take sexual assault and the accounts of hurt women seriously, especially in regard to Christine Blasely Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.

Watch the entire exchange above.

READ MORE: We're Looking At Y'all: Hip-Hop Won't Have A 'Me Too' Moment Because Of Apologists

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