Chance the Rapper just kicked $400,000 into mayoral candidate Amara Enyia’s coffers, a cash infusion campaign officials say keeps them “building momentum” and will allow them to “mobilize, get people engaged and connect with communities that have been disillusioned with politics.”
The Grammy-winning hip-hop artist endorsed Enyia in October and hosted fundraisers for her, but he had yet to donate personally to her campaign — or any campaign, Enyia spokeswoman Camonghne Felix noted.
The Los Angeles address listed for the donation is connected to Chance the Rapper LLC, which is connected to the rapper’s online merchandise and music store.
The rapper, whose real name is Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, was born on Chicago’s South Side. His father, Ken Bennett, — a friend and former aide to both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former President Barack Obama — has endorsed rival mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle.
Chance has donated money to Chicago Public Schools and has helped Enyia raise money for her mayoral bid.
At a “Join Amara, Chance the Rapper and other celebs” event in November, ticket prices ranged from $100 a person for a cocktail party to $500 for someone who wanted to walk the red carpet, cocktail party and reception.
Last Halloween, Enyia received a $200,000 donation from Kanye West, a friend and collaborator of Chance’s.
On Saturday, mayoral write-in candidate Ja’Mal Green, who considers Chance’s dad a mentor and father figure, tweeted at Chance, saying in part “I’m tired of seeing you host fundraisers for @AmaraEnyia but you can’t write a check … She needs money to compete …”
Chance tweeted a reply to Green Sunday, saying “you should endorse her.” Green followed up Tuesday after news of the donation, tweeting “what I tell him y’all, endorse a check! Now play ball.” Chance hasn’t yet replied.
Felix said they’re excited “to continue building momentum” and said the lump sum would be used for everyday campaign needs, staffing, media outreach and ads — though the campaign hasn’t decided if it will go for TV ads at the moment, Felix said.
“[The donation] means that we’ll have more flexibility than we’ve had before in our efforts to mobilize, get people engaged and connect with communities that have been disillusioned with politics,” Felix said in a statement. “It’s the collective power of their voices and votes that will win on Feb. 26 — not the power of money.”
“Chance has been invaluable to the campaign — his ability to capture the spirit of the young vote is critical, and he brings sound perspective and a deep love for Chicago to the table,” Felix said in a statement. “We’re grateful to have him on board.”
What I tell him y’all, endorse a check! Now play ball https://t.co/n5n78E5gYg— Ja'Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) January 16, 2019