The song began with an animated version of popular mainstream rapper Kendrick Lamar performing a spoken-word intro to U2’s song “American Soul,” from the band’s brand-new Songs of Experience album.
Lamar, a seven-time Grammy award winner, said in the intro:
“Blessed are the arrogant, for theirs is the kingdom of their own company. Blessed are the superstars, for the magnificents in their light we understand better our own insignificance. Blessed are the filthy rich, for you can only truly own what you give away like your pain. Blessed are the bullies, for one day they will have to stand up to themselves. Blessed are the liars, for the truth can be awkward.”
The Beatitudes are found in Matthew 5:3-12, in the Bible, and Lamar appears to have flipped the blessings that Jesus preached in the passage.
After performing the second SNL song, “Get Out of Your Own Way,” also from Songs of Experience, Bono reiterated some of Lamar’s earlier words from a megaphone: “Blessed are the liars; the truth can be awkward. Blessed are the cast of Saturday Night Live,” according to USA Today.
Bono told Rolling Stone in an earlier interview that although “American Soul” is a letter to America, the advice in that song is also directed to himself. “In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. In that sense, they’re all written to the singer,” he said.
Inspired by the Psalms, Bono has stated in a Fuller studio video series earlier this year that “brutal honesty” is key to life an art.
“We don’t have to please God in any other way other than to be brutally honest,” he said. “That is the root not just to a relationship with God, but it’s the root to a great song. That’s the only place you can find a great song. The only place you can find any work of art and merit.”
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Source: Christian Post