Kanye West ft. Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin – Ultralight Beam

Todays track is the introduction track for Kanye West’s recently released album – The Life of Pablo. If you are not a Kanye West fan or just not into rap, I recommended this album especially because it did not feel like it was strictly rap. Kanye’s production and vocals were all over the place, making it a must listen for a listener of any genre.

After anticipating this album for three years, when it finally came out I listened to it completely back to back at least five times. After listening, the two standout tracks included Ultralight Beam as well as Waves ft. Chris Brown.

This song has to be the most “religious” song Kanye put out since Jesus Walks.

Without further or due,  please let me introduce you to this “Ultralight Beam.”

Sidenote: In the beginning, you can hear a sample of a little girl praying. Check her out here: (Pretty adorable right?)

Sidenote 2: This post will be actually pretty long, but the fact is I feel that this song is very POWERFUL. If you don’t read the whole post, please at least watch the performance all the way at the bottom.

Lyrics: ((feat. Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

[Kanye West & The-Dream:]
I’m tryna keep my faith
We on an ultralight beam
We on an ultralight beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
This is everything
Deliver us serenity
Deliver us peace
Deliver us loving
We know we need it
You know we need it
You know we need it
That’s why we need you now, oh, I
Pray for Paris
Pray for the parents
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
We on an ultralight beam
We on an ultralight beam
This is a God dream
This is a God dream
This is everything
Everything (Thing, thing, thing)

[Kelly Price (Choir):]
So why send depression not blessings?
Why, oh why’d you do me wrong? (More)
You persecute the weak
Because it makes you feel so strong
(To save) Don’t have much strength to fight
So I look to the light
(Lord) To make these wrongs turn right
Head up high, I look to the light
Hey, cause I know that you’ll make everything alright
And I know that you’ll take good care of your child
Oh, no longer am afraid of the night
Cause I, I look to the light

[Chance The Rapper:]
When they come for you, I will shield your name
I will field their questions, I will feel your pain
They don’t know, they don’t
They don’t know, they don’t know
Foot on the Devil’s neck ’til it drifted Pangaea
I’m moving all my family from Chatham to Zambia
Treat the demons just like Pam
I mean I f–k with your friends, but damn, Gina
I been this way since Arthur was anteater
Now they wanna hit me with the woo wap the bam
Tryna snap photos of familia
My daughter look just like Sia, you can’t see her
You can feel the lyrics, the spirit coming in braille
Tubman of the underground, come and follow the trail
I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell
I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail
He said let’s do a good ass job with Chance three
I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy
Let’s make it so free and the bars so hard
That there ain’t one gosh darn part you can’t tweet
This is my part, nobody else speak
This is my part, nobody else speak
This little light of mine
Glory be to God, yeah
I’mma make sure that they go where they can’t go
If they don’t wanna ride I’mma still give them raincoats
Know what God said when he made the first rainbow
Just throw this at the end if I’m too late for the intro
Ugh, I’m just having fun with it
You know that a nigga was lost
I laugh in my head
Cause I bet that my ex looking back like a pillar of salt
Ugh, cause they’ll flip the script on your ass like Wesley and Spike
You cannot mess with the light
Look at lil Chano from 79th


[Kirk Franklin & Choir:]
Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough.
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up.
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times.
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again. That’s why I need…
Faith, more, safe, war
Lyrics and Personal Interpretation:
Prior and post album release, West’s twitter was ablaze with tweets concerning the album, rants and conversations (which also helped with the album promo). Along with this, he provided the meaning of the Ultra Light Beam he was referring to.

“Ultralight Beam” is the positive vibe and energy that you get from being successful and providing prosperity to the individuals around you.  It also refers to Kanye’s faith in God. This track is pretty religious considering Kirk Franklin is on the track and it even ends with a prayer.

Kanye opens out his verse with the Dream with a mellow organ by asking for deliverance and guidance from God. He is also prompting his fans to Pray for Paris.

Now, Kelly Price comes in and her solo was amazing!! I felt that she sounded even better during her live performance. Back the religious reference, Kelly asking questions from God. Questioning him why is her life so hard and why can’t he make her situation much easier. She eventually confirms that it is God she is referring to. As she does not have the strength to fight all her battles, she looks up to go to deliver he in her times of trouble. With her faith in the Lord, she know that he will protect her and at the end of the day, everything will be alright.

Now, enter Chance the Rapper who I felt was HIGHLY underrated prior to this record (Been a fan since ACIDRAP). After everyone heard his verse, the internet was ablaze with the fire that he spit. Aside from that, he added even more to the powerful message that was already given.  Chance opens up by saying when the come for you, I will defend your name. Back with the religious reference, he is claiming that he will defend the name of the Lord when nonbelievers come to destroy his faith that he has in him. Then Chance states that he will move his family from Chantham to Zambia. Chance grew up in Chantam which is a neighborhood in the south side of Chicago, while Zambia is a country in Africa. He wants to move there because Zambia was considered one of the most peaceful countries in the world whereas Chicago is known for its prominent gun crime. Now the next line is a reference to the 90’s sitcom Martin. Pam was Gina’s friend who Martin would always ignore and Gina was Martin’s significant other. When she would cause trouble for him, he would respond with, DAMN GINA! Now, everyone should get this one. He goes on to say that he has been this way since Arthur was anteater. The picture below will be very self explanatory:

Chance begins to wind down by giving us some information about the music industry. Usually, albums that are sold  are only eligible to win a grammy. So if he releases a free mixtape, no matter how good it is, it will be ineligible to win the award. This all goes to say that Chance wants the Academy to change the rules a little bit.  Another interesting side note: Chance says “Gosh Darn” instead of “God Damn” so that he can avoid using the Lord’s name in vain. With the verse and platform that Kanye gave him, he feels that this is his time to shine and show the world that he should be respected even more as a recording artist and closes that statement by giving glory to God, because he feels that he has brought him all the way there. As he closes the next line is a direct reference to Noah’s ark. Chance stated that he will make sure that they will go where they cant go and if they don’t wanna ride he will still give them raincoats. In the Bible the story of Noah is pretty well known where God flooded the Earth. Chance said that if they dont want to ride with him, he’ll still provide protection when the wrath comes. Chance finally closes by saying that by having fun, he was lost which again looks like a reference to the well-know Christian Hymn “Amazing Grace.” With the birth of his daughter, Chance gave up smoking and drug use so that he can be closer to God. In fact, Chance was a very avid Acid user, to the point he was dependent on it to create music. Hence, the name of his critically acclaimed mixtape:

Kirk Franklin closes with a prayer. Many people were in uproar for Franklin  working with Kanye West because Franklin is a gospel singer and Kanye is a recording artist who has a high level of profanity in his music. Check out what he had to say about it.

View this post on Instagram

Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with. No sprints, but Marathons; like most of us are on. Before one song was released, I was crucified because my brother asked me to take a picture. Again "no Kanye, you're not good enough"? No. That is a dangerous message I believe we send to the world when our posture is they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring. It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace. That my friend is religious. I will not turn my back on my brother. I will love him, prayerfully grow with him. However long he'll have me, and however long the race takes. To a lot of my Christian family, I'm sorry he's not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace…and as I read some of your comments, neither am I. That won't stop me from running. Pray we win.

A post shared by Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) on

“Ultralight Beam” is a very powerful song and I love doing my passion posts because I am passionate about the music and the meaning an artist is trying to convey. While doing this, I learned a lot about Kanye, Kirk and especially Chance. Next time that you listen to a song, please take a second look at the lyrics because a song is only powerful if you can interpret it.

Watch the “Ultralight Beam” performance on SNL below:

Click this link here!

Link to mp3

3 thoughts on “Kanye West ft. Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin – Ultralight Beam”

  1. Chills every time I hear this track. This song speaks more than any song on The Life of Pablo, and I listen to this when I need to be reminded to stay straight on the road of life. I think that Kanye is the biggest hypocrite on the planet (not Kendrick, he lied on “The Blacker the Berry”). He can go from calling himself God to making songs like this and “Jesus Walks”. Also I am surprised you were actually able to find some of his tweets that weren’t complete rants. He’s a psycho, but he has some beautiful messages. Good work and keep wavy, because Kanye is not wavy.

  2. That was a bomb analysis. I have listened to this song a total of four times. and I knew that the song was about having faith in GOD, but you just provided me with so much more insight. You know it took me a while to actually listen to the album and that is because Kanye’s latest albums haven’t been of the quality I am used to. I do think this album is different and has a variety of genres, beats, and artists. I think Kanye has a lot of growing up to do and maybe this album is his testimony in doing that. I don’t know but I do like this song.

    P.S. The College Dropout will forever be one of my favorite albums though.

  3. I really like this song as well, because I think it represents a shifting movement in rap and popular music as a whole. In the early days of rap, the genre explored very powerful political and social messages, just like songs in this album. If you explore the lyrics of 80s rap, they could be analyzed for days and still only be viewed simplistically. However, during the 90s and early 2000s, I think that these messages were usurped by “party rap” or a more “popular” and straight forward genre with more appealing melodies and simplistic lyrics. I am thinking about some of the earlier works of Nelly for example. However, rap is certainly returning to its early days. Look at the work of Kanye or MIA or Run the Jewels. There is some pretty heavy, but exciting stuff being produced lately. I loved this post and I continue to look forward to more.

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