Kanye West Performs ‘Highlights,’ ‘Ultralight Beam’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Kanye West Performs 'Highlights,' 'Ultralight Beam'
Courtesy of NBC

Kanye West stormed the “Saturday Night Live” stage with performances of “Highlights” and “Ultralight Beam” from his just-released album “The Life of Pablo.”

Both tunes featured backing vocals from R&B veteran El Debarge, gospel star Kirk Franklin, Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price and The-Dream. Both tunes were performed in front of a multimedia backdrop that was a departure for the NBC franchise’s musical performances. “Ultralight Beam” featured a host of additional backup singers.

The “SNL” performance came three days after West partially unveiled his seventh studio album in dramatic fashion with an event at Madison Square Garden in conjunction with the debut of his latest line of Yeezy-branded apparel for Adidas. The event was simulcast in movie theaters around the country and also streamed live via Tidal, the music streaming service run by Jay Z. He later made the full album available Saturday after the “SNL” broadcast.

Melissa McCarthy hosted the Feb. 13 edition of “Saturday Night Live.”

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    1. T dash says:

      I saw no artistry in that performance, chance the rapper is 10 times more original then Kanye now. College dropout was super real and this level of his game should be way better then it is. New school hip hop is a slap in the face to the members who brought us here. Kanyes “freestyle” was written and should have been mind-blowing but it was not. Ending every line with his name isn’t only arrogant but simply lame and shamful.

    2. Justin Ney says:

      Are all Variety commenters just barbaric old racist white people?
      Oh, that’s just America. Oh, okay.

    3. mike says:

      The show needs to hire a new talent coordinator, how did that Kanye west spot make it to the show. Artistically barren, musically incomprehensible, Fashion monstrosity. What else can u say?

      • Justin Ney says:

        No. Kanye has always been a great SNL guest & one of the ONLY true artists who really cares about the whole performance. If that performance didn’t give you chills, then maybe it’s not for you and you should just move on…?

    4. mike says:

      Great show except for that horrible performance by Kanye West. He really needs some professional help

    5. obo says:

      let the fool west borrow money from his FAT wife karTRASHian!!!

    6. Pard says:

      Kanye is just another filthy mouthed loser and wonders why no one will buy his product. Begging a white man for money. Nothing has changed.

    7. jezmyopinion says:

      I don’t even know what I saw or heard. None of it made sense. And he’s whining about being $53M in debt? I don’t understand any of it. He really needs a stay in the psych ward cuz dude is off his rocker. And his music and fashion? Even the homeless are scratching their heads.

    8. Jimmy Green says:

      His performance was vomit-inducing. His pompous prancing and posturing reminded me of an old drag queen. Beyond pathetic, just a wasteful air-sucking buffoon.

    9. Bill B. says:

      I’ve heard the album is pretty good, but isn’t wearing pants that don’t fit, showing one’s underwear and grabbing one’s crotch getting kind of old by now?!

      • Matt says:

        No, it’s still a very popular style among black people in this country. It’s not personally how I like to dress, but judging people for it is kinda lame…

    10. Nikki says:

      Just dreadful.

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