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Chance the Rapper, Cubs GM Theo Epstein made Time magazine's '100 most influential people' list

Written by
Jonathan Samples

The Chicago Cubs and Chance the Rapper have all but taken over our Twitter timelines in recent months. Between winning the World Series and giving million dollar donations to Chicago Public Schools, these two Chicago institutions are all anybody seems to be talking about. That's why it's not surprising to learn that Chance and Cubs general manager Theo Epstein made Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2017.

Time's annual list, which was released on Thursday, is a cross section of the world's most famous and infamous—Elizabeth Warren, LeBron James, Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin and (you guessed it) Donald Trump all made the cut. The list is divided into five categories—pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons— and calls on Time 100 alumni and other famous figures to contribute short profiles of the current year's inductees.

Chance joined comedian Samantha Bee, presidential progeny Ivanka Trump and another celebrity with Chicago ties, Jordan Peele, in the "pioneers" category. Chicago rapper Common penned Chance's bio, calling his music "unapologetically inspiring" and praising the musician's work in the community. "Chance upends expectations about what artists, ­especially hip-hop artists, can do...He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label."

Epstein made the list under the "leaders" category, putting him in the company of Melinda Gates, Sandra Day O'Connor and Steve Bannon. His bio, written by Cubs fan and fictional record store owner John Cusack, notes Epstein's visionary approach to building baseball teams—an approach that ended decades-long championship droughts in Boston and Chicago. "Theo may be a creature of destiny, but he recognizes that he's also just another flawed human being, no better than anyone else," writes Cusack. "It's an artful thing to thread that needle and wear it as a matter of common sense."

Now that Chance and Epstein have received this much-deserved recognition, maybe we can come up with some new prominent Chicagoan to endlessly laud.

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