Chance the Rapper brings sign language interpreters on tour
Chance the Rapper is bringing American Sign Language to the stage by hiring ASL interpreters to join him on tour.
The 24-year-old announced the move toward more accessibility at his concerts in a Facebook video last week, alongside DEAFinitely Dope founder Matthew Maxey, who will be providing the interpreters.
“Hi, I’m Chance,” he say, as Maxey signs next to him. “I’m playing a show in Tampa tomorrow night and I want all of those who are hard-of-hearing and deaf in the Tampa area to come out and see our show. We’ll have interpreters at the show, it’ll be a new thing going forward to help everybody be able to experience the show.”
“…it’ll be a new thing going forward to help everybody be able to experience the show.”
DEAFinitely Dope is “dedicated to uniting the hearing and Deaf community through music and sign language,” according to the company’s website.
“I’d like to make hip-hop and R&B more versatile in regards to the kind of music people ask us to perform,” Maxey says on the DEAFinitely Dope website. “Changing the way you experience hip-hop and R&B though sign language.”
More and more musicians are making their concerts more accessible with sign language interpreters and live captions.
Earlier this year, the Good Vibrations Music and Arts Festival, became the first-ever deaf-friendly music festival. Sign-language interpreters are also becoming more popular, as they make headlines for their emotional, enthusiastic performances alongside musicians.
“If you know anyone that’s hard-of-hearing or deaf…please invite them,” Chance says in the video. “We just wanna turn up!”
Chance’s tour wraps up in Los Angeles on October 3.
She does not have hearing loss herself, but recently purchased hearing aids for her father and grandmother, who now enjoy a more vibrant life filled with music and social events.
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