In July, Chance the Rapper purchased the Chicago publication Chicagoist after the news blog was shuttered by its billionaire owner Joe Ricketts. Chance today revived the publication, or at least its name, with a highly produced 15-minute video that aims to explain Chicago’s aldermanic system, starring Chance himself in costume as a moustached journalist character named Champ Bennett, along with several puppets and Hannibal Buress in character as a fictional alderman named Al Durhman.
The video is an at-times surreal blend of man-on-the-street interviews, colorful animated infographics, studio interviews with journalists and real-life alderman candidates, and a comedy sketch in which Chance’s character interviews Buress’ character, modeled as a corrupt caricature. The segment details Chicago’s ward structure, aldermanic responsibilities and limits, and the challenges facing young non-incumbent alderman challengers in the city’s upcoming February elections.
Chance co-wrote the video with one of his managers Colleen Mares, journalist and activist Charles Preston, and filmmaker Sam Bailey, who is currently developing her web series Brown Girls for HBO. He posted the video, entitled “Chicagoist TV Exclusive: Elderly Aldermen,” on his own YouTube page. We’ve reached out to Chance’s team for more information about Chicagoist’s comeback. Watch below.