Chance the Rapper was the keynote speaker at Dillard University’s commencement on Saturday (May 12). During his inspiring speech to graduates, the Chicago rhymer made a proclamation that would probably irritate fans of Michael Jackson.
To put it proper context, Chano told graduates that he admired MJ so much that he practiced his dance moves to a tee and studied every musical thing that he did. He then explained that Beyoncé also studied the King of Pop as well.
“Generations of little black kids have been mesmerized before the TV screen or YouTube, watching as Mike seemed to do the impossible," he explained further. "One of those little black kids would grow up to be someone especially amazing. She would do more than just copy Mike. She would surpass him. And now, I’m going to tell you about the greatest performance put on by the greatest performer of all time, and it wasn’t Mike.”
“Beyoncé. In real time, in one fell swoop, she eclipsed every Grammy performance, every Super Bowl halftime show, every talent show," said Chance of Queen Bey. "Literally, any performance from the beginning of time, in contrast, became outdated and obsolete. This was Coachella.”
Chano went on to say that Beychella surpassed all of Michael Jackson's performances. In a sense, Beyonce became MJ.
“Beyoncé’s Coachella] performance was better than any performance Michael Jackson ever did," he proclaimed.
"That woman, better than Mike. Black woman, better than Mike. I said it!" he continued. "I understand that’s upsetting to a few people here, probably...we have to erase the fear and stigma behind eclipsing our heroes.”
Overall, Chance urged graduates to become better than the heroes who came before them.
“The highest form of respect that we can pay to the people who came before us, the people who sacrificed for us and gave us everything, is to be better than them," he said. "Our parents, grandparents, ancestors sacrificed, not so that we can keep doing the same thing that they were doing but so that we can be better. To simply copy them would be almost an insult to their sacrifice.”
The MJ fan club wasn't too thrilled about Chano's remarks about Queen Bey surpassing the King of Pop. "Surpassed him where? By one performance at Coachella?" questioned one fan.
"Saying something as stupid as this will get you no where except with less fans. Beyonce is not even close to MJ regarding performances. She wish she was MJ," tweeted another fan.
You can watch Chance the Rapper's commencement speech in its entirety above. Fast forward to the 12 minute mark to hear his Beyoncé and MJ comparison.