It wasn't until years later, when Common's teenage daughter played him a new mixtape from an artist named Chance the Rapper, that he put two and two together. "There was something unique and soulful about it -- I could tell he really knew hip-hop. And when I first met him, I realized that he knew me too. 'You won’t remember this,' he said, 'but you called me when I was a kid.'”
Chance The Rapper, who recently turned 24, has not only become one of hip-hop's most innovative MCs -- he remains an independent artist who insists on releasing his music for few with a few Grammys to his name -- he also gives back to his Chicago community.
Common continued, "Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective -- music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label."
"I’m glad Chance followed his dreams. I hope he always does."
See the full TIME list here.