Written by Dawn Onley for The Grio. Check out the original article here
What happens when Chance the Rapper collabs with DJ Khaled and a group of South Side Chicago school kids on new content? Apparently fire.
The “No Problems” rapper has dropped an online video game to accompany his hit with the prolific producer titled “I Love You So Much,” reportedly becoming the first platinum selling artist to ever do so.
The game, created by students from seven Chicago public schools, is called “SuperMe” and is a superhero game suitable for kids. Chance said he couldn’t be more proud of the students.
“I’m so proud of Chicago Public School students — for their creativity, their work in learning to code and the community that made this happen,” Chance said in a pre-recorded message that played during a launch party for the game on Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
More than 400 public school students attended the launch, held at the South Shore Cultural Center in conjunction with the kickoff of Google’s Computer Science Education Week. After the formalities and the unveiling of the game, students lined up to play at game stations set up by Google.
“SuperMe” is a compilation of components of a whole year’s worth of coded games created by the students. In it, players become superheroes, which are shown as digitized self-portraits of the students, and their goal is to fly in the air through a hand-drawn version of Chicago’s skyline, denoting several Windy City landmarks, and collect as many floating hearts as they can in the 30 second timeframe. As students rush to gather those hearts, “I Love You So Much” plays in the background.
Student programmers used some ingenuity to get Chance involved in the project.
They “wanted the song in the game,” Justin Cunningham, executive director of Chance’s nonprofit, SocialWorks, told The Sun-Times. Chance saw the vision and “was like, ‘Oh, wow. This should be the official video game for this song.’
The effort to create “SuperMe” began in 2017, after Google offered a $1.5 million grant to SocialWorks and the CPS computer science initiative CS4ALL to bring computer science and STEM programs to 20 South Side schools. Google upped the ante on Monday, promising an additional $250,000 in grant money to SocialWorks.
As part of the initial Google grant, 400 students attended a 10-hour workshop to learn the free coding platform for kids called Scratch, which teaches them the ins and outs of creating video games.
”Cunningham explained that the song is all about celebrating the superheroes that we know and “there’s nothing better to say to them than I love you.”