Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino and More Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017
Today (April 20), Time unveiled their list of the world's 100 most influential people of 2017, a perfectly varied constellation of CEOs, entertainers, politicians, athletes, inventors and great thinkers who've all worked to impact the world with their intellect, heart and ambition. Included on the list—which is also home to folks like actor Viola Davis, philanthropist Melinda Gates, British Prime Minister Theresa May—are hip-hop luminaries Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino and Riz MC.
In an interesting move, Time chose people who've at times worked in similar capacities write about one another, reasoning that, "some challenges are best explained by those who have shared them." With this in mind, Chance's fellow Chi-Town comrade Common wrote an entry about Chance The Rapper, and Tina Fey—whom Childish worked with as a writer on 30 Rock—contributed a write-up about the Atlanta star.
Childish managed to launch, create, produce and star in Atlanta, a comedic TV series that ended up earning him a few Golden Globe trophies earlier this year. He also dropped Awaken! My Love, a critically acclaimed funkadelic-inspired album that impressed pretty much everyone across the board. On the other hand, there's Chance, who took home two Grammy Awards for his Coloring Book project and recently donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.
Writing about Chano, Common commented on the Chi-Town phenom's transformative qualities.
"Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label," Com wrote in his Time entry for Chance.
Fey offered similar praise for Childish's ability to materialize his dreams, writing that he was "serving you best-case-scenario millennial realness. He embodies his generation’s belief that people can be whatever they want and change what it is they want, at any time."
Riz, who also raps as one-half of the Swet Shop Boys with Heems, had his entry written up by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
For the rapper's write-up, Miranda says, "Look, Riz Ahmed has been quietly pursuing every passion and opportunity for many years as an actor (The Road to Guantánamo, Four Lions, Nightcrawler), rapper ("Post 9/11 Blues," "Englistan") and activist (raising funds for Syrian refugee children, advocating representation at the House of Commons). To know him is to be inspired, engaged and ready to create alongside him. The year 2016 was when all the seeds he planted bore glorious fruit, and here's the best part: he's just getting started."
On a related note, A$AP Rocky contributed to the Time list by writing an entry for fashion designer Raf Simmons—whose brand he mentioned on his seminal mixtape cut "Peso." Meanwhile, DJ Khaled wrote a blurb for Evan Spiegel, who played a major role in inventing Snapchat, which has taken the irrepressible DJ's fame to new heights over the last year.
See Photos of Chance The Rapper's Different Looks Over the Years