Chance The Rapper Shines Again on Late Night With Stephen Colbert

Too many lines to quote, but one of my favorites is “the automatic quarterback that doesn’t rap.” How many of you played those playground football games with auto-QB? That brought back some memories…

But to the main point, Chance has kind of made it a habit of taking new material to live television. Last night he did it again, going back to old friend and collaborator Stephen Colbert and “The Late Show”.

Chance performed a new and as yet untitled song last night, and was joined by Daniel Caesar on vocals and guitar (along with Nico, Stix, and Peter Cottontale from SOX, as well as background vocalists). The new song is very deserving of a breakdown, and I feel will continue to reveal its meaning with continued listens.

On surface, and after a couple listens, I believe the overarching theme to be the sacrifices Chance has had to make in order to achieve success as an artist. At one point, the dream of success and stardom was far off, and the sacrifices may have seemed small or absolutely necessary and wanted. In the second verse, he references skipping his prom, something he did to perform at former street wear store, AKIN.

While missing high school dances is significant, it pales in comparison to leaving your daughter for tour, being asked for autographs at church, and losing time with friends and families. The demands are intense. And it is clear that there is burnout and times of exhaustion. One of the earliest lines in the record sees Chance admit that he needs a nap.

But what I also hear in the song is a continued determination, not just on the quest to stardom but in fighting for justices and the importance of the community work that Chance has taken up. We can’t just use our couches as safety nets. Throughout the hook, Chance puts his feelings of burnout in perspective of other issues – First World Problems as he sings in the refrain. The continued battle against police brutality, school funding, gay rights definitely put over eager autograph seekers in perspective.

The performance was dope, and I am looking forward to digging further into the new song.

Before the performance, Chance also talked to Colbert about Social Works and the Second Chance Fund, which he announced at the beginning of September. The fund will be giving money to specific public schools and help with initiatives in art, music, science, and math.  He also talked about his faith, organizing and action over politics, and disclosed that he wrote the new record on Saturday. Originally he was going to perform “Grown Ass Kid”, but had to switch it up last minute. I think the change worked out well, and I’m looking forward to more new music from Chance. He said he’s in the studio cooking up YAMMERS!

Alexander Fruchter

Original co-founder of RubyHornet. President of Closed Sessions