Chance The Rapper Takes Over Virginia Beach
Kamaria Mason | Contributing Writer
Saturday, June 3, 20,000 fans packed the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach to see Chance The Rapper. Fans stretched onto the garden seating where the energy was almost palpable.
The night started off with fellow Chicago rapper, King Louie, and was followed by DJ and hype man, DJ Oreo. Fans stayed pumped as they waited for the man of the hour to hit the stage.
Concert goers were able to share their favorite songs with other music lovers by sending requests to DJ Oreo through Instagram and Twitter. Each selection brought back instant memories to the millennials who instinctively shifted from beat to beat.
With every glance around the arena, there were Chance The Rapper t-shirts and number 3 snapbacks. Some may wonder the origin behind Chance choosing the number 3 as his logo. Although it would be easy to say that it has a connection with the Rapper being born in 1993, it actually collates with his three wildly successful mixtapes “10 Day” (2012), “Acid Rap” (2013) and “Coloring Book” (2016).
The “Coloring Book” mixed tape that had the #1 single, “No Problem,” streamed over 37 million times during its first week released and charged on the Billboard’s 200.
The number three also goes along with Chance receiving three Grammys this year. The 24-year-old rapper took home awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (“Coloring Book”) and Best Rap Performance for “No Problem”. He was also nominated for best rap song for the single “Ultralight Beam.”
When Chance is not busy jamming with his loyal fan base, he is pursuing his other passions, such as being an advocate for educating the youth. His most recent contribution to that effort included donating one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools. His efforts have not gone unnoticed by his home state.
Chance was honored by Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, in 2014 with the title “Outstanding Youth of the Year.” Chance’s passion for Chicago’s youth also caught the attention of the former president, Barack Obama, and both influential figures joined forces to encourage equal opportunity for millennials and post-millennials through the initiative “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge” in 2016. His activism continued into 2017. Chance attended a meeting with current Chicago Governor, Bruce Rauner, to further help the public school system in Chicago.
As concert goers excitement began to grow to see Chance, they began to chant “We want Chance.” Suddenly, the lights onstage dimmed and fog clouds rolled out on the stage. Sparks of light rained down as the band got into position, tensions rose as everyone waited for what was next.
Thunder from a boisterous motorcycle engine erupted and all at once the crowd roar as Chance rode onto the stage jumping off of the bike as it continued down the other side of the stage. There he was in his signature ‘3’ hat with matching khaki pants. Not wanting to waste any time he went straight into his first selection.
The crowd immediately joined in, matching his musical elevation. In between Chance’s performance, he paused and formally introduce himself to the audience.
“Can we just take a minute to address that y’all sold out this arena. Do I really have 20,000 fans in Virginia?” Chance asked. The crowd went wild shouting in unison to celebrate their fan mania.
Chance went on to introduce his entourage which included the band, The Social Experiment, headed by musician Nico Segal. Their sound can only be described as a blended family of genres including gospel, hip-hop and several other music styles. Other band members of The Social Experiment include Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale and Greg Landfair.
This tour was not titled the “Be Encouraged Tour” by happenstance. This was clearly visible by the positive energy that radiated through the crowd. Fans were smiling and making connections as they made eye contact with strangers singing the lines of each song.
Chance’s music style is influenced by countless musicians and he has collaborated with many artists on his several mixtapes. One artist, in particular, is Kanye West. On many occasions, Chance has talked about his adoration for the rapper.
Chance even collaborated with Kanye on the single “Ultralight Beam.” In one emotional moment during his concert Chance showed a video montage of the moments he shared with West.
As the concert came to an end, Chance gushed while thanking his fans for supporting his passion for writing and performing. A sunset backdrop gleamed behind him as recited his last verse. It’s safe to say that everyone who shared that concert experience left that night feeling encouraged.