Chance the Rapper’s success comes from a unique musical approach that incorporates everything from gospel to psychedelics to Arthur. Though now, according to an analysis by Stephen Colbert going full-on nerd-mode, those influences may very well need to be expanded to include Lord of the Rings and Victorian-era pirate operas.
Appearing in a video for Rolling Stone, the Late Show host admits to Chance the Rapper’s Gambino-featuring Acid Rap cut, “Favourite Song” inflicting upon him the nastiest of earworms. In his attempts to break down how the verse came to rule his brain, Colbert realized that Chance’s incredibly rare rhyme scheme is one he’s only encountered in two other places – Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 opera The Pirates of Penzance and, naturally, Lord of the Rings.
“You don’t see it a lot of places,” said Colbert, “it’s a pretty rare rhyme and rhythm scheme because it’s got a lot of internal rhymes within the lines.” Specifically, in addition to “Favourite Song”, Colbert connects the rhyme scheme’s appearances to Penzance’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” and Lord of the Rings’ “The Song of Ëarendil”
To hear Colbert’s full breakdown, or if you’ve ever wanted to hear the late night host cover Chance the Rapper, peep the video below.