Watch Chance The Rapper encourage students to ‘surpass greatness’ in graduation commencement speech



Chance The Rapper delivered the commencement speech at Dillard University’s graduation ceremony today (May 12).

The rapper was invited to speak at the New Orleans university, where he also picked up an honorary doctorate.

During his speech, Chance encouraged the students present to “surpass greatness”. “Walk right up to the edge of what your heroes have accomplished and think to yourself, ‘What’s beyond this? I don’t know. I’m scared to go on,’” he said. “And that is the moment when you have become as great as your greatest inspiration. And that’s also the moment when you cannot stop.”

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He continued: “Living up to your heroes is amazing, but it’s not good enough. The difference between goodness and greatness is going beyond. You have to push forward and surpass their greatness in order to pay homage to their struggle. Don’t be afraid. Beyoncé had Mike [Michael Jackson]. Mike didn’t have Mike. Mike had James Brown. James Brown had Cab Calloway, and so on and so on.

“Right now, the greatest performer who ever lived might very well be in this audience, and that person has something Beyoncé never had. They got Beyoncé. And so you have the greatest performance of all time, to watch, to study it, but not to replicate it – to surpass it.”

Chance concluded his speech by thanking the university for letting him graduate with the honorary degree. “Now I’m a doctor!” he joked.

Yesterday (May 11), it was announced that the rapper had joined the cast of Trolls 2. He will appear alongside Oscar winner Sam Rockwell, Jamie Dornan, Karan Soni, and Anthony Ramos.



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