Commencement speeches are supposed to be inspirational, motivating the graduating students so they feel confident leaving school and entering the work force. In Chance The Rapper‘s speech to Dillard University in New Orleans, yesterday, he was just that, delivering hope and purpose to the students. However, in the middle of his speech, he made one statement that might get him in trouble with a few music purists.
“In that instance, I realized something,” says Chance during the commencement speech. “I realized that all of us have a responsibility to be greater than the people who came before us. We have a responsibility to be not as good as them, or to live up to their example, but to actually surpass them, even when it seems scary.”
Then he dropped the bomb.
“We have to overcome that fear and be greater than our role models,” says Chance. “Beyoncé’s performance was better than any performance Michael Jackson ever did. That woman, better than Mike. Black woman, better than Mike.”
He finished with a defiant “I said it,” knowing full well the controversy of his statement. While Michael Jackson has long reigned as the King of Pop, and his dance moves have become etched forever into the history of music, Beyoncé has a few iconic dances of her own (remember the “Single Ladies” video?) and her recent Coachella performance received nothing but high praise.
Do you agree with Chance here, or will Michael Jackson forever be untouchable? Check out Chance’s proclamation down below.