sometimes i'll be walking around just minding my business and something'll make me think of chance's verse on "ultralight beam" and i have to sit down for 10 minutes to catch my breath— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 18, 2018
Something a little less serious today. I had a few drinks Friday night and came home and listened to Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam." Besides a little singing, Kanye actually has very little to do with the song. It is Chance The Rapper song in the end.
There's nothing quite like Chance's verse. The religious imagery, the seamless switching from gospel to rapping to gospel, the dexterity and pace of his cadence, the overall natural charisma of Chance, which is so rare. I'm not doing it justice. It's worth a listen when you get a chance.
It's my personal favorite guest verse in hip-hop history. There are some obvious great ones. Snoop on "Nothing But a G Thang" comes to mind. Or Busta Rhymes on "Scenario." Or AZ on "Life's a Bitch." And I'm certainly missing about 100 worthy candidates. But almost no modern pop music songs capture a religious feeling like "Ultralight Beam." It's the kind of song I will be listening to in 20 years, and it will still sound fresh.