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Chance The Rapper Gave A Commencement Speech Entirely About Beychella

"Beyoncé's performance was better than any performance Michael Jackson ever did."

Posted on May 12, 2018, at 2:29 p.m. ET

Chance the Rapper gave the commencement speech on Saturday at Dillard University in Louisiana, a historically black liberal arts college.

Instagram: @chancetherapper

And he spent a huge chunk of it talking about the amazingness of Beyoncé Knowles, aka Queen Bey.

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

Chance was also awarded an honorary degree by the university Saturday, but that was nothing compared to his 🔥🔥🔥 speech. You can watch the whole thing here.

Congratulations @chancetherapper on receiving his honorary degree for his philanthropy and continued service to the youth. Thank you for being our 2018 Commencement speaker! #MyDU #DillardGrad18 https://t.co/doUFYDSoRo

Chance began his remarks by announcing he wanted to "talk to you about greatness and what it means to live into your greatness without fear."

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Chance spoke about his own graduation from Chicago's Small Stride Academy preschool in 1997 — "much like this, maybe not all the glitz and glamor...but a graduation nonetheless."

Instagram: @chancetherapper

He recalled that at his preschool graduation he performed a Michael Jackson dance medley.

"Under my gown I had a tan suit with a vest. And in my pocket, I had shades. Wardrobe change!" he explained.

Chance called his own Michael Jackson homage "one of the most important moments in my educational life."

"Every spin, turn, crotch grab, moonwalk, was perfectly executed," said Chance.He spoke about how Jackson has always served as a huge source of inspiration for his own career, but Chance also said that one prominent female artist had been particularly inspired by Jackson.
Phil Walter / Getty Images

"Every spin, turn, crotch grab, moonwalk, was perfectly executed," said Chance.

He spoke about how Jackson has always served as a huge source of inspiration for his own career, but Chance also said that one prominent female artist had been particularly inspired by Jackson.

"She would do more than just copy Mike. She would surpass him. And now I'm going to tell you about the greatest performance put on by the greatest performer of all time, and it wasn't Mike. Beyoncé," declared Chance the Rapper, to cheers from the crowd.

He was, of course, referencing Beyoncé recently headlining Coachella.
Larry Busacca / Getty Images

He was, of course, referencing Beyoncé recently headlining Coachella.

"In real time, in one fell swoop, she eclipsed every Grammy performance, every Super Bowl halftime show, every talent show. Literally any performance from the beginning of time in contrast became outdated and obsolete," declared Chance.

"Don't get me wrong — "Love On Top," baby reveal and choreo from the "Single Ladies" video were revolutionary and were absolutely integral in getting to the Coachella set. But this was the greatest performance of all time," he added.
Larry Busacca / Getty Images

"Don't get me wrong — "Love On Top," baby reveal and choreo from the "Single Ladies" video were revolutionary and were absolutely integral in getting to the Coachella set. But this was the greatest performance of all time," he added.

"The minute she began to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" [often referred to as the black national anthem], I realized this was no longer a festival, some barrel of people, clustered, camping in the desert. This became a formal event. Where we needed our national anthem. It was like a processional, like a ritual," Chance told the class of 2018.

"She did so much and she did it with military precision," he said.
Kyle Grillot / AFP / Getty Images

"She did so much and she did it with military precision," he said.

"In her show she was the culmination of every black child that has dedicated their life to art and performance, to shine in their excellence. Everything she gave to the audience — the marching band, her choreography, the musical transitions, the use of the catwalk, her wardrobe, her wardrobe changes — all reflected her ability to do the impossible," Chance continued.

"It was a production as grandiose as the Olympics and as intimate as a phone call."
Larry Busacca / Getty Images

"It was a production as grandiose as the Olympics and as intimate as a phone call."

The 25-year-old rapper revealed that he was at Coachella and watched the performance while standing next to Tina Knowles, the mother of Beyoncé and Solange. "It was like all the lights and sounds melted away and I was just watching a mother who was so proud of her daughter," said Chance.

Instagram: @mstinalawson

"As I watched Miss Tina, I thought about all the sacrifices she must have had to make for this moment. I thought about all the costumes she used to make for her daughter's performances. The early mornings and late nights she must have dedicated to taking them to practices and lessons. The money she had to save," said Chance.

Chance said that while the crowd was in awe of Beyoncé, "Miss Tina had a different look on her face. It was an expression of satisfaction. Like seeing a seed she had planted come into bloom."

Instagram: @mstinalawson

"In that instance, I realized something. 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 live up to their example but to actually surpass them, even when it seems scary. We have to overcome that fear and be greater than our role models," said Chance.

He again declared Beyoncé better than Michael Jackson, an argument that's been made for years. "Beyoncé's performance was better than any performance Michael Jackson ever did. That woman, better than Mike; black woman, better than Mike. I said it," said Chance.

He noted that some people in the crowd might be mad at him — and that news outlets and blogs would report on his comments (guilty!). But Chance explained that Beyoncé could be Queen Bey because she had Michael Jackson to look up to."Beyoncé had Mike. Mike didn't have Mike. Mike had James Brown. James Brown had Cab Calloway. And so on and so on."
Larry Busacca / Getty Images/Phil Walter

He noted that some people in the crowd might be mad at him — and that news outlets and blogs would report on his comments (guilty!). But Chance explained that Beyoncé could be Queen Bey because she had Michael Jackson to look up to.

"Beyoncé had Mike. Mike didn't have Mike. Mike had James Brown. James Brown had Cab Calloway. And so on and so on."

"Right now the greatest performer who ever lived might very well be in this audience...and that person has something Beyoncé never had. They've got Beyoncé," he told the class of 2018.

View this video on YouTube

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Happy graduation day, future greatest performer in the world!

Thumbnail images by Larry Busacca / Neilson Barnard / Getty Images
Larry Busacca / Getty Images

Thumbnail images by Larry Busacca / Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

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