Programming Council (PC) Chair Bailey McWilliams ’14 and Wheaton’s Student Government Association (SGA) have announced that independent hip-hop artist Chance The Rapper will be headlining this year’s Spring Weekend, which is officially billed as “Spring Weekend 2014: Out Of This World.”
According to McWilliams’ announcement and an accompanying video shot by Gabe Bornstein ’14, Wheaton students wanted an artist that would be “fun to dance to”, “hype”, and “provide a lot of energy.” Back in October, PC sent students a list of many eligible artists, DJs, and bands within SGA’s price range such as Metric and Waka Flaka Flame, accompanied by some unrealistic artists that were out of SGA’s price range such as Blink 182 and Beyoncé.
Despite a $30,000 budget cap, McWilliams and PC strongly feel they were able to come up with a reasonable bid for an artist they expect the student body will appreciate. “After sorting through those artists who were within our budget, I then looked at their level of appropriateness for a Friday night show, meaning will they put on a dope show that students will be amped to see,” she said.
Chance The Rapper (Chancelor Bennett) is a 20-year-old independent rap artist from Chicago. Bennett has released all of his music for free via mixtape pages and his website, chanceraps.com. Before his upcoming performance at Wheaton, he will also perform gigs at Coachella, The Governor’s Ball, Ultra, and the Firefly Music Festival.
The choice comes amid a period of breakout success for the rapper. In 2013, Chance was named Source Magazine’s 2013 Rookie of the Year and Spin Magazine’s Rapper of the Year. In 2012, he featured in Forbes Magazine and just this past summer completed a 23-date European tour with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. His 2013 mixtape Acid Rap was named one of the best records of the year by several taste-making webzines, including Pitchfork, Spin, and Consequence of Sound.
Chance the Rapper is most known for his songs “Juice,” “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” and “Smoke Again.” He has collaborated with Twista, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Ab Soul, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar, and is currently working on a series of projects with UK musician James Blake, who similarly enjoyed acclaim in 2013 for his record Overgrown.
“I truly believe that Chance will deliver this Spring Weekend. He’s a genuine soul with a pure love for performing and for the art of music; why else do you think he’d put out two entire albums for free?” McWilliams said. “Look him up, he’s worth the listen.”
For more information on the selection process, SGA’s Spring Weekend headliner announcement, and words from PC Chair Bailey McWilliams, please visit http://wheatonsga.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/spring-weekend-2014-headliner-release.