Harry Styles Just Covered Kanye West And The Internet Is Super Conflicted
Some people heard the news and were like,
Others heard about this Styles cover and gave a concerted,
Styles covered West at a surprise show in London on Saturday celebrating the release of his new album, “Harry Styles.”
Styles covered “Ultralight Beam” the instant classic that opens Kanye's 2016 album “The Life Of Pablo.” The song also features Chance the Rapper and Kelly Price.
It all started when someone tweeted a photo of Styles' setlist, which included “Ultra Lightbeam” between his own songs “Woman” and “Only Angel.”
Immediately, people were were surprised by Harry's choice.
Soon enough, video emerged on social media of Harry Styles singing “Ultralight Beam.”
It's a super indie rock version of the Kanye track.
Styles did a toned down, somber version, letting his voice fly some. He doesn't rap Chance's verses (thank God) but does sprinkle some of his lines in there.
Some people were super hyped about this cover.
Other people were super concerned that Styles would even attempt to do a Kanye song.
It was a pretty bold move for Harry Styles to try to do a cover of any Kanye West song, let alone “Ultralight Beam.”
“Ultralight Beam” was unanimously praised at “Pablo's” release last year. Pitchfork named it the number one best song of 2016, which means something if you care about Pitchfork.
“‘Ultralight Beam' is an exalted space, a promise of redemption and healing that felt more fragile and unlikely as the year wore on,” Jayson Green wrote about the Kanye original. “It is a song of Godlike perspective from a man who spent most of the year appearing to have none.”
“Ultralight Beam” is a gospel song featuring Biblical references and a church choir along with rap and Kanye's signature mix of samples.
So let's state the obvious: Kanye West is a black American rapper and artist. Harry Styles is not.
Styles was taking a gamble by performing this song, and the ricocheting reactions show that clearly enough.
What do you think about the cover?
Citations: The 100 Best Songs Of 2016 (Pitchfork)
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