Chance Is The Youngest Person To Receive BET’s Humanitarian Award (Video)

Chance The Rapper began 2017 taking home three Grammy Awards, despite releasing a not-for-sale album. Tonight (June 25), the Chance received the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards. At just 24 years old, Chancelor Bennett joins Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Denzel Washington, Jesse Williams, and others. He became the youngest person to win the award, which launched in 2002.

A video package featuring Common and Williams played after BET President Debra L. Lee began her award presentation. The speech and video package looked at Chance’s devotion to his hometown of Chicago, education, arts, and awareness. Before Chance took the stage, former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about her longtime friend. She praised his efforts in teaching others and giving legions of children opportunity and hope.

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It was then that Chance left the Microsoft Theater seats beside his mother and accepted the award. Admitting that he had no speech written. “I love Black people, yo. Please, gas me up. Gas me!” he excitedly told the crowd during the ensuing cheers. Chance credited God for putting him in this position at such a young age, welcoming the pressure that goes with it.

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Chance proclaimed, “It feels a little early to be getting something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes. I’d like to think that he’s putting this pressure on me to see how I’ll react.”[I want] to tell everybody in this government to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y’all start making it legal for people to sell it and make capital off it. I was gonna tell the Chicago public school system not to take out a loan from Chase Bank when they know that our schools are planning on failing in our district. I was gonna tell those judges that we just need a conviction when you know these [police officers] are wrong for [killing us]. [As Lil Reese says], ‘we need to work on ourselves before we work on the world.’ So I want to be a better father to Kensli; I want to spend time with her.” He also stated that he aimed to improve as a big cousin, listing many of his family members by their given and nicknames. Chance stated that he aims to take his efforts beyond the Windy City, to global impact.

Chance stated, “I’m a good man, and I’m gonna become a better man,” before leaving the stage with his latest trophy.

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Earlier in the night, he won “Best New Artist” honors.