Like every new release Chance the Rapper puts out, the interwebs are buzzing from his latest track that debuted earlier this week on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert. In a way only Chance can do, his performance of his new song “First World Problems” is a breath of fresh air that speaks truth into the daily smog.
The delivery, timeliness, and sobering beauty of the song has had me hitting repeat over the last few days. But what has given this important song even more weight and profundity is the conversation Chance has with Colbert before he performs. For one, Chance’s delight for life shines through in everything he says and sings. In his interview with Colbert, they dialogue about a number of topics from family to faith to raising money for public schools in Chicago. Towards the end of the conversation, Colbert, who is a devout man of faith, asks Chance what he meant when he said that “singing is praying twice.” Witnessing Chance and Colbert dialogue about what it means for both of them gives me chills. Here is Colbert:
To me, the words have their own meaning but the expression of your heart comes through in the sound in the way the words can’t capture. The same way the parables of Christ tell a story that cannot be told in any other way, the sound of the song speaks in words that we can’t reach.
“First World Problems” is nothing short of Chance praying twice. And so instead of writing about it, I think it makes most sense, for now, to just listen to his words of truth and his expressions of the heart that speak of an eschatological hope that is already en route.