Chance The Rapper's Principal Speaks Out On '10 Day' Anniversary [Interview]

As '10 Day' Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary, Chance's Principal Speaks Out [Interview]

Dr. Joseph Powers Talks Chance, Charity + More For '10 Day' Mixtape Anniversary

Photo of Chance The Rapper courtesy of YouMedia.

Sure, Chance The Rapper is an internationally known, locally respected artist + advocate from the city of Chicago, but did you know he has an anniversary to celebrate today (Apr. 3)?

On this day in 2012, Lil’ Chano from the 79th made his first official mixtape, known to hardcore fans as 10 Day. A free digital download, which would go on to become precedent for any release associated with the now three-time Grammy Award winner10 Day marked his arrival as an MC and creative.

To date, 10 Day has been downloaded over 515,000 times on DatPiff and listened to almost 700K. It gained critical acclaim and buzz from sites such as ComplexThe West Review, and Fake Shore Drive. The project would also make eagle-eared audiophiles like us stand up and pay attention to the then-budding artist.

But what’s the story? Why is 10 Day so important outside of the project’s fifth-year anniversary?

Well, for those that don’t know, before Acid RapSurf and Coloring Book, Chance was then known by his government name, Chancelor Bennett and was a student at Jones Prep High School. The school’s mission was and still is to help students develop themselves as leaders and focused on educating the whole person. Chance was already outgoing by nature, but as with most young folks discovering themselves, he used his time not only to create in the school’s recording space, but he also loved to get lifted like a John Legend track.

That’s where Dr. P. Joseph Powers comes in.

Jones Prep’s principal, who continues to share the joy of learning to this day, is the man you have to thank for 10 Day‘s development. How the story goes was that Chance got caught doing something wrong and Dr. Powers put him on out-of-school suspension for 10 days. Recorded during that time, the 14-track debut would serve as the breeding ground for elements Chano would use in future projects. From layered harmonizations to elements of “Juke Juke” being used on Acid Rap‘s “Good Ass Outro” — Chance The Rapper’s 10 Day tape will always be an interconnected part of anything he creates.

And with newfound fame, fortune and opportunity not looking to deter Chance from his goals, roots and mission — Jones Prep and Dr. Powers have done an excellent job in preparing him for the real world. It is no secret that Chance has used these new chances to help his and other Chicago Public Schools to increase graduation rates + fight for education in a city where it seems that those in charge only want to talk a good game. “As an artist and an after-school teacher, I know that the arts are essential. They teach kids invaluable lessons,” Chance told reporters after announcing the Chicago Bulls had matched his $1 million donation to Chicago public schools.

So, with all that in mind, to ensure that Chance’s beginning are celebrated just as his recent (and future) endeavors, we sat down with Dr. Joseph Powers as he shared his recollections on Chance as a student leader, the response to 10 Daywas like on campus and offered some solid advice to his former scholar.

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