T.L.O.P. is honest, incoherent, contradictory, and spiritual all in the same breath—much like the artist that created it. Kanye West has given us better bars on every single one of his past albums, which made it easier to dive into the sonic waves Pablo provides instead of the lyrics. 'Ye is getting scary good at being able to make an album by committee further blurring the lines between rapper and artist, a conversation spearheaded by Drake's ghostwriting controversy. That's a debate for another day, though.
"Ultralight Beam" sets the tone for Kanye's first gospel album; after Kelly Price floats down from heaven's gates with her angelic voice, Chance the Rapper follows up with opening lines that sounds more like a bible passage than rap verse. Chano referenced religion, science, and Martin before getting into his spiritual awakening.
We said his feature was our favorite after the album finally hit the streets, and it still is. I tried my hardest to find another 16 this month that could compete with this, but it was a chore, to say the least. Hit play on the Pablo title track and let the beams enter your soul.
"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 fuck 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
Imma make sure that they go where they can't go
If they don't wanna ride Imma 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
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
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"
Here are some of my favorite lines: "When they come for you, I will shield your name/I will field their questions, I will feel your pain"
And: "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 fuck with your friends, but damn, Gina/I been this way since Arthur was anteater"
One more: "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"
Please stop sleeping on lil Chano from 79th. Acid Rap and Surf are so dramatically different from most of the rap that's been released in the last five years. His "Ultralight Beam" verse is just a taste of what Chance is capable of, and hopefully, with Kanye's cosign, people will stop frontin' and give his music a true listen because we don't want no devils in the house tonight.