Chance The Rapper Speaks At Becoming A Man's Unity Day Rally

Rob Hart
January 21, 2019 - 1:53 pm

Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Peer counselors on the West Side marked the Martin Luther King holiday with a visit from recording superstar and Chicago native Chance the Rapper.

Chance the Rapper spoke at a BAM (Becoming A Man) Unity Day rally at Frederick Douglass High School on the West Side.

BAM supervisor Rickey Layfield said it's important for high school students to see and hear from someone who used to walk in their shoes.

"Seeing that Chance is just like them is important because he's at a different level and different plateau. He once was in their shoes. Things like that help youth with the visionary goal part. Like 'I can do this, I can't be this.' It's hard to be what you don't see," Layfield said.

He said he had a similar experience during a performance by Chicago native Kanye West at the Chicago Cultural Center.

"It meant so much to me, because he actually knew where I was from, knew how I felt, and knew what I needed to hear," Layfield said.

For the high school students gathered in the auditorium, Martin Luther King's story may belong to their grandparents.  Layfield said it's important for his generation to listen to their elders, and pass along their stories of Dr. King.

He also said today's generation may experience the same struggles.

"It might not be in the sense of not being able to vote, but it's in the sense of voices not being heard," Layfield said.