Bono explained why Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" was included in the list he compiled of "songs that saved my life."
Bono included Kanye West's track "Black Skinhead" in his new series of "songs that saved my life." In honour of his 60th birthday on May 10th, the U2 frontman has decided to list 60 different songs that he "couldn’t have lived without." In a series of "fan letters" to each artist, Bono explains his "fascination" and reasoning for each choice, which includes the Yeezus track that Kanye premiered on Saturday Night Live in 2013. In his musical love note to Kanye, Bono details his experience hearing the song for the first time while watching SNL.
"Dear Kanye," he begins. "I was a hundred feet from your feet… Your eyes were shut so as not to be distracted from the words you had just written around the corner, but here you were debuting this song live from Saturday Night Live… and I’m in the TV studio to witness some black history. It’s May 18, 2013."
"It felt like hip hop wanted the black leather jacket back from rock ’n’ roll… and the rock ’n’ roll silhouette too," he continues. "And there you were. Head like a bullet against the supermarket yellow backdrop with a sign saying NOT FOR SALE. Words shot from from a block-like mouth, from the lips of some punk Othello, with dogs like wolves on a leash… teeth bared, tongues dripping, ku klux knots slipping." He goes on to describe the experience as getting "musically kicked in the head."
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"It sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before," he added. "The soundtrack of terror, but I wasn’t afraid… I was relieved somebody was fearless." Bono signs off by indicating that he's been Kanye's fan ever since he joined U2 on their Vertigo tour back in the mid-2000s.