When it comes to politics, the city of Chicago has long held the reputation of being one of the most corrupt entities on the planet. But instead of bowing to its arcane power structure, Chicago native Chance the Rapper has decided to use his platform to shine a light on the city’s shadowy alderman system.
Spoofing a local investigative TV news reporter, a disguised, but clearly recognizable, Chance stares directly into the camera and intones: “Today we will look into something so grand, so mysterious, so important — today we will look into the aldermanic elections of Chicago. What does it take? How does it work? And most importantly, what is an alderman? Let’s ask the American people and find out.”
What follows is a 15-minute informative — yet hilarious — deep dive into Chicago politics, revealing the true power of the 50 aldermans who are charged with running the city. Comedian Hannibal Buress even joined in on the fun, posing as a fictitious 51st alderman named Alderman Durhman.
When asked by Chance’s character, investigative reporter Champ Bennett, what he does for the city of Chicago as an alderman, Durhman responds, “I take care of dem potholes on the West Side, permits, block parties, awnings. If you wanna start a bar, you want a liquor license, you gotta pay me off. People call my office about those boots on their car — it’s not my fault you didn’t pay your parking tickets, now your Altima has a canary-yellow Timberland. Pay your damn parking tickets, that’s a different department than me.”
With this release, Chance hopes to inspire a younger generation of Chicagoans to become more involved in the city’s political process, in hopes of putting the power back into the hands of the people. The video also serves as the first production from the new and improved Chicagoist, a local news site that was purchased by Chance over the summer.
Watch the video in full above.