Chance the Rapper, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett sat down for an in-depth interview with Complex Monday touching base on a variety of topics, but what did it for the internet was how the 23-year-old Chicago native professed his love for his one-year-old daughter, Kensli Bennett.
“There was never a point, ever, in my life where I can remember loving someone as much or more than I love my mom until I met my daughter,” Chance told Complex. “So, it made me understand that my mom loves me more than she loves anybody in the world, and that’s crazy to me.”
He recalled the very first time his on-and-off girlfriend, Kirsten Corley, was pregnant, stating he was in denial at first.
“I didn’t expect to become a father when I was 22. It had a huge impact on what I was doing. I was touring a lot, trying to figure out where I was going in the world,” he said, adding that he was “figuring everything out”— trying to maneuver his way through the music industry.
“I was scared and I was in denial, but every day it became a little easier. I’m talking pre-having a baby — because after having a baby it just gets harder. I went from a place of just rejecting it, to not just being optimistic but beckoning it, like, ‘I’m ready to have this baby. Let’s fucking go!’” he said.
His excitement surrounding his daughter may have played a role into the rapper’s donation of $1 million to Chicago Public Schools earlier this month. The generous check was intended to help the school system’s arts programs, of which Chance the rapper is a product. The donation came on the heels of his appeals to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to enact legislation to help the city’s schools.
“Governor Rauner can use his executive power to help get Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn,” the rapper said during a press conference on March 3. “Governor Rauner still won’t commit to give Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”
He added: “Governor Rauner, do your job.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama, also a Chicago native, applauded Chance the Rapper’s donation.
Watch Complex's full video interview below.