Chicago native rapper and producer Chance the Rapper (born Chancelor Jonathan Bennett) purchased the local news site Chicagoist from New York public radio station WNYC.
Chance made the acquisition public in his new song I Might Need Security — which he released on Wednesday, along with three other tracks — rapping, “I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist bitches out of business.”
WNYC and Chance confirmed the purchase on Thursday.
“We are delighted that the Chicagoist assets are finding a new home in the hands of a proud Chicagoan,” Laura Walker, president and CEO of New York Public Radio, said in a statement. “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.”
In February, WNYC and other public radio stations (KPCC in Southern California and WAMU in Washington, D.C.) purchased the Gothamist sites and assets — including LAist, DCist, and Chicagoist. WNYC has since re-launched Gothamist; KPCC has revived LAist; and WAUM has brought back DCist.
The Gothamist sites and local news site DNA Info were shut down in November of 2017 by former billionaire owner Joe Ricketts after the newsroom voted to unionize.
Chance the Rapper’s Social Media LLC purchased Chicagoist’s archive, internet domain, and social media channels, saying in a statement that he’s, “extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment.”
“WNYC’s commitment to finding homes for the ‘ist’ brands, including Chicagoist, was an essential part of continuing the legacy and integrity of the site,” he continued. “I look forward to re-launching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content.”