Chance the Rapper, a Chicago-based rapper, announced via a surprise song Thursday that he'd purchased the site Chicagoist. He actually released four songs: "65th & Ingleside," "Workout," "Walacam," and "I Might Need Security." The song "I Might Need Security" — which also samples some of Jamie Foxx's stand up comedy — contains a lyric describing the purchase.
"I bought the Chicagoist / just to run you racist [expletive] out of business," Chance raps.
In a statement provided to WNYC, Chance, real name Chancelor Bennett, said, "I look forward to relaunching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content."
Chicagoist shuttered its doors last fall when the owner of the website, billionaire Joe Ricketts, jettisoned operations without warning. Ricketts also shut down sister websites LAist, Gothamist, DCist, and DNAinfo. Ricketts' decision, explained in a curt statement on the defunct websites, was a direct boomerang to the sites' collective decision to unionize. In February, public radio station WNYC acquired Chicagoist and Gothamist. Meanwhile, DNAinfo morphed into Book Club Chicago and DCist and LAist went to their respective local radio stations. The demise of the websites was seen as a glaring omen of the death of local news — their respective rebirths, then, feel like a glimmer of hope.