Chance The Rapper has hired a sign language interpreter to accommodate deaf fans attending the remaining shows in his “Be Encouraged” tour.
The hip hop artist, whose birth name is Chancelor Johnathan Bennet, is the first rapper to incorporate an American Sign Language interpreter for his shows.
Chance The Rapper made the announcement last week before his show in Tampa, encouraging those who are deaf or hard of hearing to attend.
“This will be a new thing going forward to help everybody be able to experience the show,” he said. “If you know anybody that’s hard of hearing or deaf that can make it to the show, please invite them, and we just wanna turn up.”
— DEAFinitely Dope (@deaf_dope) June 14, 2017
Rapping in sign language can’t be easy, but it appears that Chance The Rapper chose the perfect person to live up to the challenge – bringing in Matt Maxey, the founder of Deaf Dope, a company that shows “the beauty of sign language” through performance.
— Pigeons & Planes (@PigsAndPlans) June 17, 2017
In a video posted to Twitter, Maxey stands near the stage, signing in perfect unison as Chance The Rapper performs on the platform above him.
The rapper saw Maxey performing at a music festival and asked him to join him on tour after they met, WTSP reported.
Two other interpreters will join Maxey on tour with Chance The Rapper. One of them, Kelly Kurdi, told WTSP that the group has been “close to tears” since they met him, because they “can’t believe that he’s willing to provide interpreters on his own.”
In addition, Chance The Rapper is offering 50 free front row tickets to fans who are deaf or hard of hearing through DEAFinitelyDope.com.
Chance The Rapper isn’t shy about his Christian values, often donating to charity and posting about his religion to social media.
I missed Church today, but Happy Father's Day to my God.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) June 18, 2017