Chance the Rapper today (July 19) announced the purchase of recently-shuttered and revived local news outlet Chicagoist from New York Public Media.
Chicagoist, which was part of local news trio Gothamist and LAist, was closed down by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts after the journalists decided to unionize and join the Writers Guild of America. New York Public Radio, which has affiliate stations in Los Angeles and Chicago decided to revive the publications as other local publications like DNAInfo had also been closed down after attempts by writers to unionize.
Chance the Rapper, neé Chancellor Bennett, made the announcement in one of his new singles, entitled “I Might Need Security”. In an expletive-laced verse, Bennett rhymed:
“I missed a Crain's interview, they tried leaking my addy (address)
I donate to the schools next, they call me a deadbeat daddy
But Sun-Times get in that Rauner business
I got a hit-list so long I don't know how to finish
I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist b*tches out of business”
The verse, according to Genius, accused Crain’s Chicago Business of leaking his address after the rapper had missed an interview and tabloid Chicago Sun-Times for parental issues.
A story from former sibling site Gothamist and a tweet from WNYC confirmed the purchase.
Chance the Rapper's venture Social Media LLC has now possessed the news outlet. In a statement, the rapper said: "I'm extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment... I look forward to relaunching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content."
New York Public Radio president and chief executive Laura Walker also gave a statement, adding: “We are delighted that the Chicagoist assets are finding a new home in the hands of a proud Chicagoan. WNYC has a strong commitment to local journalism and building community, and we are pleased that these assets will be used to support local coverage in the great city of Chicago.”