The musician surprised the roughly 300 high school students in attendance by gifting each of them a pair of $220 red Jordan Retro 11 sneakers; that model won’t be released to the general public until Saturday.
In a video posted on Twitter by a fan, Chance is onstage at Chicago’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, holding a shoebox as the crowd cheers and applauds.
Chance made the generous gesture in a tribute to his late mentor, Chicago poet “Brother Mike” Hawkins, who died three years ago and for whom the OpenMike series is named. “On the anniversary of the passing of my mentor Brother Mike, OpenMikeChicago had one of its best nights yet. Until next year … power to the people,” the rapper wrote on Twitter, giving a shout-out to Jordan for helping him surprise his fans with some fresh new kicks.
The OpenMike events are staged by Chance’s youth empowerment foundation, Social Chicago Works, in partnership with the Chicago Public Library. Each event features performances by local young talent as well as appearances by celebrity guests or prominent public figures. Among the famous faces who have turned up at past events are Kanye West and Dave Chappelle.