On Monday night, Chance the Rapper took to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to do what Chance does best: speak truth and drop new music.
In a special live performance, Chance released a brand new song with Canadian singer/songwriter, Daniel Caesar. Fans know the “Coloring Book” rapper to tease clips from unreleased music through social media. The writing of and decision to release this new track, however, all came to fruition in a matter of days.
While talking with Colbert, Chance revealed to viewers that he was originally set to perform “Grown Ass Kid,” an unreleased track from his 2016 album, “Coloring Book.” Due to unspecified circumstances, Chance was no longer comfortable performing the song, so the Saturday before the performance he wrote and prepared a new one. Chance announced the release at 6:19 p.m. Monday with a simple tweet: “I’ll be on @colbertlateshow with @SterlingKBrown. Tune in I gotta new song. #chanceoncolbert.”
The song is heart-wrenching and speaks to the struggles that Chance experiences on many levels. It touches on topics such as missing out on time with family, grappling with religion and temptation, the struggle for racial equality, safety for the poor, concerns for social justice and how fame complicates it all.
The first two verses and choruses feature a stripped-down accompaniment from Caesar’s soulful electric guitar and vocals, in addition to harmony from a small chorus. Here, Chance speaks about missing out on time with his 2-year-old daughter, Kensli, because of touring and calls himself a “rich excuse for a father.” He describes experiences of being hounded while trying to attend church and reminds listeners not to become complacent in the fight for equality with lines like, “have a dream and then never wake up.”
In the third verse, the tempo becomes more upbeat as Chance extends this sentiment, reminding listeners not to stop believing in the “American dream” even when they see inequality in everyday life.
The following evening, Chance took to social media to announce that he had decided on a name for the formerly untitled song: “#FirstWorldProblems.”
“Like Flint got clean water, and y’all don’t got teen daughters, and black friends and gay cousins,” the young artist rapped on screen. “Y’all just don’t say nothin’. Know that the day’s comin’. Knees bowed, tongues confessin’. The last one’s gettin’ first dibs on blessings.”