After a heartfelt introduction from Michelle Obama that had us all in tears (as Debra Lee said, she’s our “Forever First Lady”), Chance the Rapper took the stage at the BET Awards to accept this year’s Humanitarian Award. After Jesse Williams‘ history-making speech for the same honor last year, the pressure was on for the 24-year-old prodigy to prove he can fill those shoes — and he didn’t disappoint.
“This is wildly overwhelming, I didn’t think it was going to be this crazy. I didn’t prepare a speech because I really wanted to see what would happen when I got up here and trying to speak from the heart,” said the rapper, who received standing ovation and who hit the red carpet with his mom, Lisa Bennett. “I’m 24. To be receiving something like this at my age, it feels a little bit – it feels good as hell – I love this, I love Black people y’all, please gas me up! Gas me! I was going to say it feels a little early to get something like this but my God doesn’t make mistakes. I like to think that he’s putting enormous pressure on me to see how I react.”
Not only did he get religious in his acceptance speech, he got political. He called out the Trump administration for mass incarceration and for profiteering off Black bodies. He also demanded a conviction for cops who have shot and killed innocent Black men, women and children.
But he ended on a self-reflective note, saying, “I’m a good man, and I’m going to be a better man.”
Twitter didn’t take his “gas me up” call lightly:
Congratulations, Chance, and keep doing us proud.
ICYMI: Chance The Rapper Delivers Powerful BET Awards Acceptance Speech was originally published on globalgrind.com