Chance is good friends with Donald Glover, who voices Simba in the film
Chance the Rapper didn’t just show up at the premiere for Disney’s Lion King remake as a guest — he’s in the film himself.
The rapper posted on Instagram after Monday’s screening that he voiced a character called “Bush Baby” in the movie, thanks in part to his friendship with Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), who voices Simba. Glover got the film’s director, Jon Favreau, to bring Chance on as a consultant for the film, since he’s a major fan of the franchise.
“I grew up my whole life obsessed with all things related to #TheLionKing; like all three films, the Timon and Pumbaa tv show, the broadway play and especially the broadway soundtrack,” Chance wrote on Instagram. “Needless to say the original film was immensely impactful on my music and overall life.”
This, according to Chance, led to him heading into the studio to not only voice his character, but also sing a bit. He’s listed in the credits as “Chance Bennett” (his real name is Chancellor Bennett), as he shows in his Instagram post.
“For about a year I would go to the LK studio and see early animations, scenes, music direction or assemblies and they’d always be out of this world amazing,” Chance explained. “One day I’m there Jon asked me to do some singing stuff, another day he asks me to do some lines. Its all a blur, but I’ll tell u its one of the best blurs of my whole life.”
The Lion King has made it into Chance’s music before — on the song “How Great” off his breakout third mixtape, Coloring Book, featured rapper Jay Electronica raps, “I was lost in the jungle like Simba after the death of Mufasa, no hog, no meerkat.”
Chance walked the red carpet for The Lion King‘s Los Angeles world premiere Tuesday night with his wife Kirsten Corley and daughter Kensli Bennett. He joined the rest of the cast, which also includes Beyoncé, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, on stage at the premiere.
“I am so blessed to know people like Donald and Jon man,” he wrote on Instagram. “AMAZING FILM, AMAZING CAST AND AN AMAZING NIGGHT LAST NIGHT. GOD BLESS AND LONG LIVE THE KING.”
The Lion King is in theaters July 19.