GOOD

Chance The Rapper to Chicago’s Students: Make My Next Music Video

Lil Chano From 79th and soul singer Jamila Woods are putting the city’s young talent in the spotlight

My first car was a 1985 Toyota Celica that was so old and run down that it leaked when it rained, the passenger side door didn’t open, and I had to keep the heat on to cool the engine down. Despite those flaws, in the summertime I took great joy in shifting it into fifth gear on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, windows down, feeling the breeze blowing off Lake Michigan as I cruised along the expressway.


If hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper and poet and singer Jamila Woods had been around back then, maybe I could’ve made a music video depicting my Lake Shore Drive adventures in that rickety (but functional!) car. Fortunately for today’s teens, the two Chicago natives hope to tap the creativity of Chicago’s public school students for a video for their collaborative track, LSD, which is a love letter to Lake Shore Drive.

On Tuesday, the two artists took to social media to announce that they’re looking for video treatments from the city’s aspiring public school student filmmakers. All eligible students have to do is write up their vision for the music video—there are free how-to tutorials online—and submit a PDF version by June 2. The contest is an unprecedented opportunity for kids in the district, 80 percent of whom live in households poor enough to qualify them for reduced or free lunch, to show their talent and make vital entertainment industry connections. “The winning student will shadow the directors and production crew on the set for the day,” according to the announcement. Other students whose submission “show promise” will also get to shadow a film set department head.

The contest won’t be a surprise for those familiar with Chance’s activism on behalf of his hometown’s students. In March, the rapper, born Chancelor Bennett, made headlines when he announced a $1 million donation to support arts programs in the city’s financially strapped school district. “Everybody and their momma knows about what’s going on in Chicago, it’s constantly talked about. But we’re about to enhance the conversation,” Chance said in March at a press conference announcing the donation.

[quote position="left" is_quote="true"]It’s important to me that there’s not just one story told about Chicago.[/quote]

Woods, whose 2016 album “HEAVN” features “LSD,” is an equally fierce supporter of programs that teach the arts to students in her hometown. Along with making music, she’s also the associate artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, an organization that provides free student-centered, artist-led workshops to about 10,000 youths per year.

“A lot of people get Chicago wrong,” Woods told Spin last year. Media coverage tends to either dive into the struggles of the public schools or cover the murder rate, portraying impoverished people of color as monsters with guns. “I’ve developed this protective feeling about how we’re portrayed, and at the same time, I’m acutely aware of the issues we face and the root causes of these issues. It’s important to me that there’s not just one story told about our city,” explained Woods.

To that end, Woods told Spin that “LSD” was inspired by her childhood memories of riding on Lake Shore Drive from the city’s South Side to downtown, an experience she described as “magical.” But, like many things in the racially segregated city, the lake has a complicated legacy for black Chicagoans.

A white gang hunts black people in Chicago in 1919.

During one of my own childhood trips on Lake Shore Drive, my mom told me about an incident rarely taught in schools—how in 1919 a black teen named Eugene Williams was killed by white men in Chicago after he crossed an imaginary line in Lake Michigan at 29th Street and floated out of the area designated for black swimmers. The incident sparked riots that lasted for nearly a week, left nearly 40 people dead, and made around 1,000 black Chicagoans homeless. That history makes Woods’ LSD lyrics, “Matter fact, we can swim in it. I know you wanna get in it,” seem both defiant and celebratory.

The student who wins Woods’ and Chance the Rapper’s contest will surely be celebrating their achievement all over social media, and they’ll also get paid. “There is a stipend set aside in the video budget for the students!” Woods’ label, Jagjaguwar wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

Education

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less
Health