Chance the Rapper returns to Australia for first time in six years

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With just over month to go until South by Southwest (SXSW) makes its debut in Sydney, the music, talks and film festival has announced that Grammy Award-winner Chance the Rapper will join the line-up.

Described by president Barack Obama as an outstanding role model, the 30-year-old rapper won’t be performing his back catalogue of hits but will deliver a talk celebrating hip-hop’s legacy over the last 50 years.

Chance the Rapper has been announced as the latest star to join the lineup at Sydney’s South By Southwest festival in October.

“As we celebrate 50 years of hip-hop in 2023, I’m reminded of the transformative power this culture has had, not just on the world stage, but on the streets of Chicago’s South Side. I’m really looking forward to joining SXSW Sydney as a speaker to expound upon hip-hop’s transcendent legacy,” Chance said.

Chance the Rapper has been a mainstay on the hip-hop scene since the release of his Acid Rap mixtape in 2013. The mixtape became a word-of-mouth hit, launching the artist into the mainstream as both a rapper and producer.

A veteran of SXSW, having performed at the Austin festival multiple times, Chance is a regular collaborator with some of the biggest names in music, including Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled, Kanye West, and Skrillex.

Since its launch in 1987, SXSW has become one of the most popular festivals in the United States, taking place every March in Austin, Texas. This year, it was held as usual in Texas, but for the first time, the event will also take place in Sydney.

The addition of Chance the Rapper to SXSW Sydney represents a major international coup for the festival.

So far, the SXSW Sydney festival, which runs from October 18 to 21, has announced a mixture of home-grown and international musical talent, including Sydney punk band These New South Whales, UK talent Connie Constance, rising New Zealand hip-hop artist Will Swinton, and Japanese punk band Otoboke Beaver.

Joining Chance on the speaking bill are Paul Tollett, CEO of Goldenvoice and a co-founder of Coachella, fashion designer and Queer Eye reboot cast member Tan France, Cal Henderson, the co-founder of messaging platform Slack, director of content at Netflix Que Minh Luu; chief evangelist of Canva (and former Apple chief evangelist) Guy Kawasaki and keynote speaker Amy Webb (futurist and author).

Those hoping to see Chance the Rapper perform will have to wait and see if he announces shows to coincide with his time in Australia.

The rapper last performed a headline show here in 2017.

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