By Nia Prater
“If you’re planning on voting tomorrow, say ‘hell yeah!'” exhorted local rapper DJ OddCouple, hyping up the crowd in front of the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park Monday.
A resounding “Hell yeah!” came back in response.
It was dusk, and thousands jammed into the park for a get-out-the-vote rally and free concert spearheaded by the 23-year-old critically acclaimed hip hop recording artist Chancellor Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper. But even before Bennett made his appearance, the party had already started, and the crowd assembled for the music and the pre-election demonstration was primed and ready to go.
Bennett dubbed the rally “Parade to the Polls.” It was billed as “a live show of democracy,” a tagline taken very seriously. It featured an early-evening concert headlined by Bennett, a Chicago native, followed by a literal procession to the polls, with Bennett himself leading the spectators on foot through rush hour traffic to a nearby polling station.