Kanye West‘s “Ultralight Beam” is one of the best moments in hip-hop so far in 2016. After years of waiting for a new album from ‘Ye — amidst the
underwhelming lackluster return of G.O.O.D. Fridays, commentary on Twitter and two fashion shows — we all really just wanted to know where the hell Kanye was headed with his music.
Once his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show rolled around, we knew he’d be playing his The Life Of Pablo LP front to back. How many songs, and in what order and with who on it, we didn’t know. But the first sound we got during the show was the heavenly “Ultralight Beam.” Lush, crisp vocals from The-Dream, a pleading Kanye West, repentance from Kelly Price. All of it leading to a declaration from Chance the Rapper. “This is my part, nobody else speak,” he rapped during his passionate verse, which turned out to be the best on the whole project. It was Chance’s coming out party on one of the most beautiful songs of the year. It’s a career-defining verse. And it’s all wrapped up as the first bit of rap we heard on one of rap’s largest ego’s/superstar’s new album.
Life’s problem ease when “Ultralight Beam” is playing. Life’s problem go away when Chance the Rapper is speaking. Whatever came after, for me, didn’t matter as much. We got “Ultralight Beam.”
Last night, Chance performed his verse to a crowd in North Carolina that knew every word. I won’t be mad if this stays in his live rotation for years to come, especially if he keeps rocking with this bit of live horns and instrumentation from The Social Experiment.
Watch the performance below.