Denison Journal of Religion


This project is an investigation of Chance the Rapper, both as a person and a musician. The focus is his most recent activism within his non-profit, Social Works, and his most recent mixtape, Coloring Book. Both his activism and music are executed with a biblical message and Chance’s unapologetic identity as a Christian. Between his music and activism, Chance has become a very popular figure in a way that surpasses mere celebrity. His music is religious–it is heavily mixed with gospel music and celebrates God, blessings, and angels–but is coupled with activism that authentically supports his Christian message. This project is a multi-lens investigation on the four interlocking roles Chance occupies: Chance as Christian, activist, musician, and Black Chicagoan. The majority of Chance’s activism is targeted towards South Side Chicago, both his hometown and a majority Black, notoriously violent part of the country. This project analyzes the effect that his leadership and music has locally and internationally through different lenses. Using literature on race, Chicago’s racial history, theology, and cultural studies, I investigate the ways in which Chance, as a figure, impacts and engages culture in radical and meaningful ways. These different lenses allow for a creative comparative analysis.

Sarah Curtin '18 is from Chicago, IL and received her BA in Religion and English Literature from Denison University.


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