REVIEW: Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam" Is Gospel

REVIEW: Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam" Is Gospel

Good news for the music industry

Gospel, a.k.a the good news. With this simple designation I can truly articulate what "Ultralight Beam" is to Kanye's fans and the music industry.

The Life of Pablo, Mr. West's seventh studio album, was released Valentine's Day 2016 to a globe full of anxious listeners. Everything from the lyrics, the message, the release, the production, to the sales has been analytically criticized. People have reviewed the album track by track hundreds of times. It is the topic of discussion, and rightfully so.

The Life of Pablo is reminiscent of MBDTF what with its extensive features, impressive production and ability to grasp a listener by the soul. Resemblance can also be drawn to Ye's early days due to its "College Dropout" feel.

In particular what drew everyone back to the "Jesus Walks" era was the opening track, "Ultralight Beam". This gospel-influenced, soul-packed, hip-hop joint features Chance The Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price and Kirk Franklin.

There's an immediate sense of nostalgia when we hear 4-year-old Samoria Green praying to God with the conviction of a life-long believer. The Instagram video and sample for the track is easily relatable for anyone who grew up in and played church around that tender age.

Kanye's prayer in verse "Deliver us serenity/ deliver us peace/ deliver us loving/ we know we need it/ you know we need it/", is a cry for the help that only God can deliver, for humanity as a whole. The lyrics, "We on an ultralight beam/ we on an ultralight beam/ this is a God dream, this is a god dream/ this is everything", repeated throughout the song, seem to be a prayer of thanks for the positive and productive journey God is willing and bringing to life. It's an acknowledgement of the security granted knowing that God's will, in the end or in between, is always carried out.

The Dream's verse reads as follows:

I'm tryna keep my faith

But I'm looking for more

Somewhere I can feel safe

And end my holy war

He, as well as Kanye, come in a little soft spoken but with great impact. The Dream's lyrics are an acknowledgement of that internal battle that every Christian faces. The one between the old flesh and the new. The biggest war any one of us is facing is that holy, internal war with ourselves. Faith is hard to hold onto with the temptations of the world.

Then, magnificently, Kelly Price comes in to deliver a sermon with her angelic voice and take everyone all the way back to that one Sunday service God intended especially for you. Her verse is a prayer we are all too familiar with. It begins with interrogation and desperation, seeking answers for the downpour of depression and evil, but transforms into a surrendering. There is a surrender from attempting to look for solace or peace from any other source but God's beautiful light.

Arguably the best feature on the entire album, an incredible standout performance, Chance The Rapper surfs into the song and drops bars harder than what's been common as of late in the rap world.

Swearing allegiance to God, agreeing to shield his name, field the questions of his people and fight his greatest enemy (the Devil) and his army of demons, a further understanding of Chance's relationship with God is illustrated in the first few bars. He then goes on to provide ingenious wordplay and poetic justice while covering major key points:

-He's leading this generation of artists to independence and freedom much like Harriet Tubman

-Although he's not, his daughter is masked from All of The Lights

-He isn't afraid to bring God, one of his biggest muses and influences, into the world of hip-hop (He made Sunday Candy, he never going to hell)

-He's met one of his heroes Kanye West, possess an astonishing 5 credits on his album, and convinced him to include one of the best tracks on the album

-He'll continue to make his music free for everyone to enjoy, even if it means no Grammy (according to rules, nominations are only for "for sale" material)

-His gift is one from God and he plans on using it forcefully (as we all know)

-He's going to be a part of bringing Chicago back to glory

-Wesley and Spiek tried it with Chiraq

-You cannot mess with God's will (i.e. look at how far Chance made it form 79th Street in Chicago)

Throughout the song we are graced with the majestic sounds of a choir that I can only describe as sent from Heaven. The spiritual awakening that ensues as a result of their melodic undertaking is frankly unbelievable.

Finally, as the song draws to an end, Brother Kirk Franklin delivers the closing prayer. Thankfully, Kirk ignored and/or welcomed external backlash from some of the Christian community, and joined this masterpiece. His prayer, as are so many of his, is one we can all agree on as the one to petition on behalf of the group to the all-knowing ears.

Orchestrated and engineered by an overwhelmingly talented and creative group of artists, Ultralight Beam is the good news. It's the greatest news the rap music game has heard in 40 days and 40 nights.

Check out an edifying performance of the track right here:

Cover Image Credit:

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!


I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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