Chance the Rapper is like a millennial superhero. He spurns the Man by refusing to sign a record contract. He’s optimistic in a cynical time. And like any proper superhero, he has an origin story. In a new profile for GQ, Chance shares, for what he says is the first time, the moment when he decided to commit to a life of joyful purpose. “When I was younger, my grandma said a prayer over me that damn near sounded like a curse,” Chance explains. Apparently the pseudo-curse was bestowed about three years ago, around the time of both Acid Rap and 10 Day, when the Rapper was “just doing a lot of drugs, just hanging out. I was gone all the time.” So when he was visiting his grandmother one day she decided to set him straight with prayer.
“She looked me in the eyes and she said, ‘I don't like what's going on.’ She said, ‘I can see it in your eyes. I don't like this.’ And she says, ‘We're gonna pray.’ And she prayed for me all the time. Like, very positive things. But this time, she said, ‘Lord, I pray that all things that are not like You, You take away from Chance. Make sure that he fails at everything that is not like You. Take it away. Turn it into dust.’”
Chance says he was initially unsure if God would be into rap, but then decided to embrace the prayers going up, so that the blessings could then flow down. “Things that you push so hard to get, and they don't work out — I don't dwell on them as much, because she said that. You know? Because it makes me feel like, you know … everything is mapped out.” And thus, Super Chano from 79th was born.