Chance The Rapper has penned the foreword for Chicago poet Kevin Coval's new book The People's History of Chicago. Coval, who has been called the unofficial poet laureate of Chicago by the Boston Globe, has served as a mentor to Chance, which the MC details in his write-up.

"Kevin Coval is my artistic father," Chance writes. "He mentored my friends Malcolm London and Dimress Dunnigan and Fatimah Warner and got me shows, and those shows got me a little bit of bread and the confidence to continue and take the craft seriously. In a lot of ways he was the other side of Brother Mike for me, and anybody from Chicago knows what that means and how big a statement that is. He was that for me and for a lot of people."

Chance credits Coval for making the "No Problem" rapper see art as a viable career path. Chance also notes that Coval motivated him to reach greater heights as an artist.

"Kevin made art a job to me," Chance continues. "He made me feel like it was real. He made me feel like the competition was real. He made me feel that the money was real. He made me feel that the love and the fans were real. And if I didn't have him in my life I would've been complacent. He took me out of that space and made me understand what it is to be a poet, what it is to be an artist, and what it is to serve the people."

You can read the entire foreword in Coval's book, which will be released on April 11. Paperback copies of A People's History of Chicago can be pre-ordered now through Haymarket Books.

Haymarket Books
Haymarket Books

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