Chance the Rapper is one of the biggest rap stars in the world. In addition to his music career, the charismatic entertainer is set to be a coach on the upcoming competition series Rhythm + Flow. Given Chance’s success, there are many fans who are curious about his personal life.
How many children does he have? Are there other members in his family who are entertainers? Read on to learn more about Chance the Rapper’s kids, as well as his extended family and how they influence his music.
1. Chance Has a 4-Year-Old Daughter Named Kensli Bennett
Chance’s daughter Kensli Bennett was born on September 20, 2015. Chance told Complex that having a daughter forced him to step back from his life and rearrange his priorities. “It’s a strange process. It opened my eyes to understanding, like, the other side of death,” he recalled. “I knew people that had kids; a lot of my friends had kids when they were young. But I had never experienced joy like that before. I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my life—I didn’t realize it was a lot until I realized Chicago is different than a lot of places.”
“Seeing the antithesis of that and all of this light and joy made me be able to say things that I could never say on record,” Chance continued. “I couldn’t say I swear my life was perfect on Acid Rap, because my life wasn’t perfect… Getting to take my daughter places when I’m not on the clock—that’s like, a f**king surreal experience. Going around your family or around her mother’s family and having them interact and having kids around, and really just delving into family life, is so f**king dope and so separate from any joy that you can experience being creative.”
Kensli Bennett has played a large role in shaping Chance’s music. She is the reason that Chance is looking down and smiling on the artwork for his 2016 mixtape Coloring Book. “I thought, my best smile is probably when I’m holding my daughter,” he told the University of Chicago. Chance also references his daughter on Kanye West’s track “Ultralight Beam.”
2. Chance’s Wife Kirsten Corley Was the Inspiration for His Album ‘The Big Day’
Chance began dating Kirsten Corley in 2013, and they got married on March 9, 2019. The rapper credits Corley with saving his life by helping him embrace his faith and choosing celibacy. Chance discussed the breakthrough during an appearance on Queen Radio. “I need you to hear one song on my album that has my best verse that I written in my life,” he explained. “It’s called ‘We Go High.’ I explain that my wife literally saved my life by becoming celibate and going and getting baptized.”
Corley was the main influence behind Chance’s studio debut, The Big Day. Tracks like “Get a Bag” and “Always and Forever” focus on their romance, and happiness that the rapper felt leading up to his wedding day. On the titular track, Chance raps, “Oh my God, think it’s the greatest day of my life / So glad you arrived / But the only way to survive is to go crazy / Yeah, the only way to survive is to go crazy.”
During a Beats 1 interview, Chance talked about marriage and how he always knew that he was going to end up with Corley. “That was the first concept for the album,” he remarked. “I live in a very specific space where there’s things expected of me and relationships I have to tend to all the time… Faith is what let me married. Faith is what got me to being able to make an album.”
3 Chance’s Parents Ken & Lisa Bennett Inspired His Passion for Social Activism
Chance’s parents Ken and Lisa Bennett worked various government jobs throughout his childhood. Ken Bennett was an aide to the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington, and then to Senator Barack Obama. He also worked for the Department of Labor during President Obama’s first term. Lisa Bennett worked for the Illinois Attorney General. Chance told ABC that his parents (and grandparents) inspired his passion for social activism.
“I guess activism is in my blood,” he revealed. “My great-grandmother marched with King, my grandmother had herself and all her children volunteer for Harold Washington. Like I said, it’s a lot about responsibility and integrity… I care because it’s my responsibility. I was raised to not kind of be ignorant to important issues that affect my people. My biggest enemy besides Satan is inequality.”
Chance said that his daughter’s name, Kensli, was created by combining his parents’ first names. He also told Complex that raising a daughter caused him to reflect on his relationship with his own parents. “I’m understanding that cyclical thing of it all: I’m realizing, ‘Oh sh*t, my kids are probably gonna try and sneak out and smoke dope and argue with teachers or do whatever.’ And my parents probably did the same thing. It’s kind of sobering. To a certain extent, it’s just gonna keep going. I’m gonna have kids, my kids are gonna have kids, and so on and so forth. But, there’s also a lot of beauty in it and something romantic about it.”
4. Chance’s Brother Taylor Bennett Is Also a Rapper & Songwriter
Chance isn’t the only talented musician in his family. His brother Taylor Bennett is also a rapper and songwriter who’s released several albums under his birth name. His latest, Be Yourself, was released in 2018. Taylor has rapped opposite Chance on tracks like “Broad Shoulders” and “No One Outside.”
Taylor credits Chance with opening the floodgates for independent artists like himself to breakthrough into the mainstream. “Chance showed me and everybody in the music industry that possibilities and heights you can reach as an independent artist. When I saw that I was like, ‘I’m with you, Chance'”, he told Dujour. “Chance proved that you can be successful as an independent artist, like major successful, not just being able to eat and being able to put food in your mouth.”
In January 2017, Taylor came out as bisexual on social media. “I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017,” he tweeted. The announcement drew support from the rap community, as well as Chance himself, who tweeted his support. “Love this man right here, through any and all,” he wrote. “He has grown into a great man. He’s got God and me behind him, he cannot fail he cannot fall.”
5. Chance & His Wife Welcomed Their 2nd Child In August
Chance and Kirsten Corley welcomed their second child on August 29, 2019. The latter posted a photo of the child on Instagram, along with the caption, “Our sweet baby girl, Marli, is here.” Chance talked about raising two children, and the challenges that come along, during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“It’s just way harder, honestly, having two kids than having one. Mathematically, it makes sense, but in my mind, it didn’t register until I actually had two kids,” he told Kimmel. “People make the diaper part seem so tough. I would much rather do diapers if I didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night, to be honest with you.”