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What to Know About Chance the Rapper and Barack Obama's Epic Bromance

The Season 23 Voice Coach and the 44th POTUS have a rich history that all started in Chicago.

By Jessica White
Chance the Rapper on His Inspiring Phone Call from Common and Meeting Barack Obama

There are some heartwarming bromances out there, and one of them is between Chance the Rapper and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. It turns out that the Season 23 Coach of The Voice has made numerous outstanding memories with Obama.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

Chance the Rapper and Obama go way back, boasting a fascinating origin story through their mutual Chicago roots. The respect shared among the men is touching, with Chance the Rapper being an early supporter of Obama's political career (he was a campaign intern!), while the 44th President openly gushes about Chance's talent and activism.

Check out some of Chance the Rapper and Obama's most memorable BFF moments, below. 

Chance the Rapper was a kid when he first met Barack Obama

When we say Chance and Obama go way back, we mean way back. Chance's father, Ken Bennett, was the Illinois state director to Obama when he was a U.S. senator of Illinois and state director for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Bennett would go on to become the deputy assistant to Obama during the earliest days of his presidency and deputy director of presidential personnel. 

This meant Obama got to meet the young Chance, soon to be Rapper, when he was in eighth grade. Chance reflected on the lovely childhood meet-up in a May interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers

"It was very cool," Chance said. "And then I got to meet him after I got famous, too... After when I put out some music, and I was older, and I had a new name." And this was just the start of a beautiful friendship! 

Cahnce The Rapper Obama Friendship2

Obama says Chance the Rapper is doing "amazing work"

Obama chatted about meeting Chance as a young kid on Sway Calloway's Sway in the Morning, where the former president also discussed some of his favorite rappers, Chance included. Many talented musicians made the list, but Obama didn't refer to any of his other favorite Spotify artists as "family."

"I think the young guys, Kendrick [Lamar] and Chance [the Rapper] are doing amazing work," he said. 

"When I look at who's breaking new ground, Kendrick and Chance, those guys are doing just amazing work. And they're wonderful young men," Obama reiterated before adding, "Chance, I've known for years 'cause his dad was my state director when I was a senator in Illinois... And so we've been family for a while."

Chance the Rapper attends Obama's State Dinner for a dance battle

In 2016 during one of Obama's final State Dinners of his presidency, Chance unsurprisingly made the list of honorable attendees. He even did away with his iconic "3" hat for the esteemed occasion, but he had a mission at the top of his mind: Challenging the POTUS to a dance battle. 

Chance the Rapper performs at Obama's final Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 

Grab the tissues because Chance and Obama's beautiful relationship was firing on all cylinders during Obama's last Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House in 2016. Chance performed a slowed-down rendition of his nostalgic-heavy hit "Sunday Candy," alongside The Social Experiment. As soon as Chance said, "Happy Holidays Mr. President," he had the audience in the palm of his hand with the heartwarming choral performance. From the angelic church choir to the homesick-inducing lyricism, Chance pulled out all the tricks and got everyone in the holiday spirit. Watch the incredible performance here.

Chance the Rapper showcases the "Thank You Obama" fashion line

Chance is no stranger to showing up looking slick and stylish, and he combined his love for Obama with his fashionable flair by repping an Obama-inspired clothing line. Chance took to Twitter to flaunt his Obama-themed fits, a line created by Joe Fresh Goods. In one pic, Chance wears a maroon T-shirt with "Malia" imprinted, and in another, he sports a #44 basketball jersey made in honor of the 44th president. 

Chance The Rapper Obama Friendship3

Obama puts a Chance the Rapper song on the Obama Foundation "Hometown" playlist 

Where would the world be without Obama's replay-worthy Spotify playlists? You can even purchase the former president's day-to-night Summer 2016 playlists on vinyl. Chance the Rapper has the honor of landing on the 2017 playlist with his Coloring Book hit "Blessings." Further proving Obama is a Chance stan

Obama gives Chance the Rapper a heartfelt shout-out at his free concert

Chance is a big fan of accessibility in the music industry, launching his career by releasing free mixtapes and throwing free concerts. He continued the trend after skyrocketing to fame, hosting many free events in his hometown of Chicago. 

The former president threw Chance some support by recording a message that was played at a 2017 event. “Chance, I am grateful for everything you’ve done on behalf of our young people back home that you are representing,” Obama commended. That same day, Chance donated 30,000 backpacks to Chicago school children. 

Chance the Rapper serenaded the 44th President while hosting Saturday Night Live

Yes, the star performed a 90's R&B-inspired ballad penned especially for Saturday Night Live. When Chance Hosted SNL in 2017, Obama had just left office after completing his second and final term, leading Chance, Chris Redd, and Kenan Thompson to deliver a romantic breakup serenade a la Boys to Men begging Obama to return. 

The hip-hop parody "Come Back, Barack" boasts hysterical lyrics like: "So come back, Barack / Even though it's not allowed (no, no, no) / We want you back somehow / I need you in my life" and "And I know there's other democrats / More than just a few / But when I think of change / The only change I want is you."

Chance the Rapper flaunts his direct line to the former world leader

As two family men with impressive careers behind and before them, Chance and Obama don't hang out every day, but they always know how to keep in touch. Chance chatted about his public friendship with Obama during The Late Late Show's "Carpool Karaoke" segment, revealing to host James Corden that he has a roundabout direct line to the former president. 

"I don't have his number, but I have a number for him. I have a person I could call that will say, 'OK, I'll have him call you.'" Chance delightfully revealed before adding, "It's the same way with JAY-Z." The Voice Coach simply never knows which man is giving him a callback!

Chance The Rapper Obama Friendship

Chance and Obama's friendship is truly one for the ages, and it's been lovely watching their bond flourish. We know Obama is likely keeping his fingers crossed for Team Chance to seize a victory this season on The Voice