After enlisting Janelle Monáe as the keynote speaker for last year’s commencement, Dillard University landed Chance the Rapper to give the latest crop of graduates from the HBCU some words of inspiration on Saturday morning.
Students were informed the Grammy-winning rapper would deliver 2018’s commencement speech back in April.
“Where you walk right up to the edge of what your heroes have accomplished and think to yourself, ‘What’s beyond this? I don’t know. I’m scared to go on,’” Chance told the graduates. “And that’s also when you cannot stop. Living up to your heroes is amazing, but it’s not good enough.”
Chance then gave a glowing endorsement of Beyoncé.
“Beyoncé had Mike,” Chance added. “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 got Beyoncé. And so you have the greatest performance of all time—to watch, to study, to learn from it, but not to replicate it. To surpass it.”
Aside from calling Beyoncé’s two-week headlining performance at Coachella the greatest of all time, Chance also picked up some credentials himself. Dillard gifted Chance with an honorary doctorate degree.
“Thank you so much for letting me graduate. And now I’m a doctor,” Chance said.