Chance The Rapper Is Now The Owner Of The Defunct News Website Chicagoist

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Written by Ann Brown

 

Chance the Rapper has always taken pride in his Chicago roots, even putting his money on the line. He has purchased the defunct news website Chicagoist.com. And he announced the deal in one of four new songs he’s just released.

In the song lyrics for “I Might Need Security” Chance raps that he “bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist (expletive) out of business” in reference to what he calls racist media in Chicago.

Chicagoist shut down in November after the then-owner, billionaire Joe Ricketts of TD Ameritrade and patriarch of the family that owns baseball team Chicago Cubs, the closed the site along with Gothamist, DNAinfo, among other online media outlets he owned. One reason for the shutdown some speculate was that staffers at the site had voted to unionize under the Writers Guild of America East.

“I’m extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment,” Chance, 25, said in a news release. “I look forward to re-launching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content.”

Earlier this year, New York Public Radio’s WNYC took ownership of the Chicagoist assets when acquired Gothamist and four associated sites. And, in April WNYC relaunched Gothamist in New York City.

“Chance acquired Chicagoist from through his newly formed company Social Media, which says it aims to promote local investigative journalism, diversity and representation for people of color in media,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Another party had been interested in Chicagoist besides Chance. Public radio station WBEZ-FM 91.5 considered acquiring the site but the deal did not happen. Chance went on to snap up the site.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Chance has become more community active over the past few years. “He’s lent his star power and street cred to a variety of local causes, from supporting arts education in Chicago Public Schools to opposing City Hall’s plans for a West Side police training academy,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chance’s nonprofit organization also raised $2.2 million for arts education at Chicago Public Schools. Some 20 schools benefited. Chance also donated 30,000 backpacks and school supplies at Chicago’s annual Bud Billiken Parade.

“More recently, Chance defended his home city’s reputation and stood up to President Donald Trump on Twitter, posting in April that he’d ‘never support someone who’d talk about Chicago as if it’s hell on earth and then take steps to make life harder here for the most disenfranchised among us,’” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chance is no stranger to the business world. In fact, in 2016 at the age of 24 he became the youngest person to make Fortune’s 2017 40 Under 40 list. To date, Chance remains an independent artist, reporting turning down $10 million advances from record labels. He did negotiate a $500,000 deal, plus advertising, with Apple Music to post Coloring Book exclusively on Apple Music for two weeks.

And his business savvy goes beyond music, “Chance has landed endorsement deals with big name brands like Nike, Nestle and Twitter,” CNBC reported.

Chance the rapper
Chance the Rapper speaks at a peace rally and march, Friday, June 15, 2018, in Chicago. Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and Jennifer Hudson were also among the celebrities who spoke at the event. A group of Florida high school shooting survivors started their nationwide bus tour registering young voters to help accomplish their vision for stricter gun laws at the rally on Chicago’s South Side. (AP Photo/Annie Rice)