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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.


it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now

how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you

a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you

i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight

it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about

the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life

i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then

but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing

that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.

It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.

It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.

You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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