Not a blizzard, but godforsaken April snow. April snow in Chicago is a rabbit punch from the devil himself, so Chance played it safe and floated the ball heavenward.
And then he danced, because that is what Chance the Rapper does, and all was right and good at U.S. Cellular Field. Snow or not, the South Side was still going to get down.
This is the power of Chance, whose ceremonial pitch capped off a huge week for the rapper. The 22-year-old Chicago native had just dropped a promotion for his newly designed White Sox team, and news was breaking about the franchise mulling over the possibility of taking their partnership to the next level—that the White Sox were thinking about offering him a role as the team’s official brand ambassador.
This made me, a hip-hop fan, very happy.
“This,” I thought, “is an immutably logical and good thing. Chance loves the White Sox. The Sox love Chance. Only someone who chases children off his lawn with an oat scythe would say Chance the Rapper is bad for baseball.”
And then someone said precisely that—that Chance the Rapper was a “gangsta rap” maker who will only bring moral ruin upon the White Sox and the sport of baseball at large.
And to this I say: Nah. Chance the Rapper is exactly who baseball needs.
Let’s start with the most obvious reason why Chance is about to make baseball great again:
Chance is for the Fun
Baseball’s stars state the issue quite plainly: “Baseball is a tired sport.”
Chance can fix that.
As far as personas go, Chance the Rapper is the closest thing there is to a human marching band. He is 90 percent light and front flips. And whether he’s rapping, taking Chicago youths to the museum or clothing the homeless, he does it all with infectious positivity and style.
Chance is the first step in melting down baseball’s rusted unwritten rules and forging a new, front-flip-heavy future in the sport.
Chance is for the Flips
Front flips. Bat flips. Flips inside other flips. Inception Flips.
Baseball needs more flipping, and there is no bigger proponent of spinning your body end over end than Chancelor Bennett.
Chance is for the Family
Some lines from “Sunday Candy,” Chance’s hit collaboration with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment.
I got a future so I’m singing for my grandma
You singing too, but your grandma ain’t my grandma!
Mine’s is hand made, pan fried, sun dried
Southside, and beat the devil by a landslide.
Praying with her hands tied, president of my fan club,
Santa, something told me I should bring my butt to church!
Do you want this type of “gangsta rap” in your ballparks, America?
Chance is for the Waves
The biggest reason baseball needs Chance is precedent.
A Chance ambassador deal opens the door for a flood of new faces in MLB. It would carry on momentum that started with Drake’s amabassadorship with the Toronto Raptors and widen it is drastically.
This is what the business is about, after all—expanding reach and taking the product to new places and people. New entertainers bring new fans, which brings new life to a league. From there interest multiplies and ripples outward, and you find yourself with hands in new markets.
In other words, it’s seeing a wave and riding it, and let’s be clear: Chance joining the White Sox, should he do so, would be the start of a wave. And this wave won’t die, no matter how arm-chair moralists try to sandbag against it.
Dan is on Twitter. Replay the replays and always Green Bay the Packers.