Sign of the Times

Houstonian Signs on as ASL Interpreter for Chance the Rapper

Matthew Maxey will join the Chicago rapper for the remainder of his 2017 tour.

By Allyson Waller June 20, 2017

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Chance the Rapper performs at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre in May 2017

Chance the Rapper preaches the feel-good mantra “All you need is happy thoughts,” and his latest move to include ASL interpreters at his concerts is just another reason to love the king of #blackboyjoy even more.

Last week Houstonian Matthew Maxey announced on social media that he would be joining Chance the Rapper’s 2017 Be Encouraged Tour as an ASL interpreter, providing those of the deaf and hard of hearing community with an opportunity to enjoy the rapper live in concert.

The Georgia native brought his movement, known as DEAFinitely Dope, to Houston in 2016. The organization focuses on constructing connections through sign language and music. Four years ago, Maxey begun posting videos on YouTube of him interpreting hip-hop music and he has steadily gained a following not only among the deaf community, but the hearing community as well, with Maxey traveling to high schools and universities to educate others about sign language and its importance. 

DEAFnitely Dope’s current gig with Chance the Rapper provides greater inclusiveness for the deaf community and those hard of hearing, hopefully prompting more artists to hire ASL interpreters for their shows in the future. So far, Maxey has interpreted three shows with Chance the Rapper, and is set to join him during the remaining leg of his tour.

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