We don’t talk enough about the meteoric rise of Chance the Rapper. Just 10 years ago, Chance was known less as “the rapper” and more as Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, a Chicago high school student who had been suspended for 10-days for marijuana possession. That 10-day suspension gave Chance the opportunity to drill down and focus on his passion for rap, giving the world his debut mixtape 10 Day, a release that put Chance’s name on everyone’s radar and even garnered comparisons to fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West.
He followed up that release just a year later with the modern classic, Acid Rap, and then the beloved ColoringBook, which led to more critical acclaim, a record label bidding war, and multiple tv appearances. Chance showed up on everything from The Eric Andre Show to Ellen DeGeneres, eventually landing a dual role as host and musical guest on SNL (he was also the Obama family’s favorite rapper and regular guest). By the decade’s end, Chance would score a small role in The Lion King, befriend and collaborate with his hero Kanye West (producing Kanye’s best late-period song, “Ultra Light Beam”) and serve as the new host of the relaunched Punk’d.
Even your grandma knows who Chance the Rapper is. And while that doesn’t sound like the coolest flex, it certainly signifies just how huge Chance has really become.
If those bonafides aren’t enough to convince you, Chance has now landed the ultimate collaboration — his very own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor — Mint Chocolate Chance. Now Lil’ Chano from 79th sits alongside other cultural giants like Jerry Garcia, Phish, and Stephen Colbert as his new flavor joins Ben & Jerry’s permanent roster of flavors.
But is Mint Chocolate Chance any good? We tried the new ice cream flavor to find out!
Mint Chocolate Chance
Mint Chocolate Chance, perhaps unsurprisingly, features a cool and refreshing mint chocolate base with chunks of brownie bites inside. Think mint chocolate chip ice cream with the chips replaced by giant pieces of soft, fudgy brownie. The flavor was apparently inspired by Chance’s childhood practice of mixing his favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream with his mother’s homemade brownies.
“It amazes me that no one thought to combine brownies and mint chocolate chip and I can’t wait to share it with everyone,” Chance said of the new flavor.
He’s right — how the hell is this a new flavor? It seems like one of the most obvious flavor combinations of all time! So it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that it works, because Mint Chocolate Chance is goddamn (forgive me Chance) delicious. The ice cream is wonderfully rich and creamy, it’s so thick and dense that it actually bent my spoon the first time I tried to scoop it out of the pint. Use an ice cream scooper. The brownies are sourced from New York’s Greyston Bakery, which prides itself on its use of real quality ingredients, and that commitment to craft shines through here.
A lot of times ice cream fillings, while always appreciated, are of subpar quality. It’s easy to hide grainy cookie dough or a subpar almond under layers of sweet, rich ice cream, who’s going to notice? Me, that’s who. So I’m really loving how good these brownie bites are, they are somehow still soft despite being totally frozen. It’s not quite as delicious as adding a warm fresh-baked brownie to your bowl of ice cream, but it comes pretty damn close. The mix of brownie and mint tastes like the best Andes mint you’ve ever had.
If your mouth is watering but ice cream is something you can only stomach a spoonful at a time, you’ll be happy to know Mint Chocolate Chance is also available in non-dairy form. The dairy-free version is made utilizing sunflower butter, which helps to keep the ice cream dense and creamy and not weird and icy like most dairy-free ice creams tend to be. The flavor isn’t quite as good though, it’s a bit duller in comparison to the OG Mint Chocolate Chance. Maybe that’s something I wouldn’t notice if I wasn’t eating them side by side, but I’m not about to sit here and tell you they taste nearly the same, they don’t really.
As is the case with most celebrity Ben & Jerry’s flavors, a percentage of sales of Mint Chocolate Chance will go to charity, in this case, Chance’s own five-year-old non-profit SocialWorks, which concerns itself with empowering Chicago youth through arts, education, and civic engagement, with programming that focuses on education, homelessness, mental health, and performing and literary arts.
Chance, who cut his teeth at open mics at libraries and after-school programs alongside fellow Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, has come full-circle in his career. Scoring his own delicious ice cream flavor from one of the most well-loved ice cream brands in the country feels like a fitting trophy as he approaches the ten-year anniversary of his first mixtape.
The Bottom Line:
A great addition to Ben & Jerry’s permanent lineup but opt for the dairy version over its less flavorful dairy-free counterpart. Imagine the thickest, creamiest mint chocolate ice cream you’ve ever had with big fudge brownies bites in each bite. Simple. Easy. Delicious.