"When I get out of boxing, I want to do all I can to help people. What's the best thing I'm gonna do? Get ready to meet God." - Muhammad Ali
I can't really say what I was expecting from Chance's performance last night at the ESPY's, but for some reason I wasn't anticipating an original song, or for it to be only sung. It opens almost like an old broadway musical number. The build into the chorus is surprising as Chance uses Ali's famous boasts and taunts often used to build himself up pre-fight. He takes the famous verbal jabs and re-contextualizes them to speak highly of God and heaven.
The snippets of Ali being interviewed are equally moving.
"God is watching me." Said the champion. "God don't praise me because I beat Joe Frazier, God don't give nothing about Joe Frazier, God don't care nothing about England or America as far as wealth. It's all his. He wants to know how do we treat each other. How do we help each other."
As Chance since the chorus, the lines really put life in perspective... "I was a rock, I was a rock and roller, back in my day, but now I'm just a rock."
To frame Ali's death as a moment of the champion reaching perfection and true solace after a lifetime dedicated to fighting brawny opponents, racism, injustice and ultimately a debilitating disease, is nothing short of a reverential tribute fitting for a real life hero.