Chance the Rapper’s Commencement Speech Is Exactly What We Needed This Weekend

In summary: Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Beyoncé.

Fair Dillard/YouTube

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Chance the Rapper had a lasting message to the graduates of Dillard University: Surpass your heroes and achieve greatness, just like Beyoncé did at Coachella.

On Saturday, Chance took time during his 22-minute speech to praise the lessons learned from Beyoncé’s legendary performance at Coachella, a moment that Chance said was “was better than any performance Michael Jackson ever did.” 

“I realized that all of us have a responsibility to be greater than the people who came before us. We have a responsibility to be not as good as them or live up to their example, but to actually surpass them, even when it seems scary. We have to overcome that fear and be greater than our role models,” Chance told the graduates. “We have to erase the fear and stigma behind eclipsing our heroes.”

Chance received an honorary degree from the historically black college in New Orleans.

Watch his speech below, starting at the 90-minute mark. 


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend