Chance the Rapper disappointed by ‘vague answers’ from Rauner


Lenny Gilmore | RedEye

Chance the Rapper performs in the group The Social Expirement at the Austin Music Hall on March 20, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chance the Rapper met privately at the Thompson Center on Friday, with the South Side rapper saying he was disappointed in the meeting he’d asked for and promoted.

Chance the Rapper emerged from the sit-down visibly flustered, saying the talk about Chicago Public Schools funding hadn’t gone as he’d expected and the governor had given “vague answers.” The duo met in private for about 40 minutes.

“I’m here cause I just want people to do their jobs,” the musician told reporters after the meeting. “And I did speak with the governor. I asked him about funding CPS with that $215 million that was discussed in May of last year and was vetoed in December over, you know, political arguments and (stuff).”


Rauner had a different take.

“We had a discussion about education and education funding,” Rauner said. “Good exchange of views on what the options are, what the possibilities are.”

Rauner said Chance the Rapper was “very focused on getting quickly more money for CPS right now, and I share his passion.” The governor said he had offered to work over the weekend with the music artist to find a solution to the funding problem. He said the two agreed to remain in communication.

“I think we agreed that we’re going to talk further in the coming days, and we talked about working together,” Rauner said.

Ryan Michalesko
Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks with members of the media Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, following his visit to Carbondale High School’s Rebound program. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

The road to their Friday meeting started when Chance — born Chancelor Bennett — connected with Rauner on Twitter last month.

Rauner’s Twitter account congratulated the 23-year-old for winning best new artist, rap album and rap performance at the Grammys. Chance responded by thanking the governor and saying he’d “love” to set up a meeting.

Chance has previously been vocal about Mayor Rahm Emanuel and violence in Chicago. In a recent interview with Katie Couric, the rapper said he’d like to see politicians approve a temporary state budget to fund after-school programs that could help curb violence.


“I like to work at the earliest level of it and get people involved in jobs and in schooling and in the arts early,” he told Couric. “You don’t have any respect for life if you don’t have anything going on, or respect for anyone else’s life if you don’t have anything going on.”

The two were initially scheduled to meet Wednesday, but Rauner spent that day visiting tornado-stricken Ottawa and Naplate.

CPS recently sued Rauner and the Illinois State Board of Education, alleging the state hurts Chicago by maintaining “separate and unequal” systems for paying for schools.


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