Bono Explains How Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” Saved His Life

U2 live in San Fransicsco 1997

Source: Dave Hogan / Getty

In honor of his 60th birthday, Bono decided to share a playlist including 60 songs that saved his life, aptly titled, These Songs Saved My Life.

Among his choices is Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” off his controversial 2013 album Yeezus, which most people seem to either love or hate–just like Kanye. Along with the selections, Bono wrote a thoughtful essay about just how much he was affected when he heard the song for the first time during Ye’s performance on Saturday Night Live.

“Dear Kanye, 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,” Bono wrote. “I remembered the feeling of being 15…I’m watching a film noir, horror…I was in that movie…but that night the beating was inside my head not on my head, in fact, it sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before. The soundtrack of terror, but I wasn’t afraid…I was relieved somebody was fearless.”

He also mentioned the fact that Kanye went on tour with his band, U2, back in 2005, saying he has been a fan ever since.

“Black Skinhead” probably isn’t the first song most would think of when it comes to life-changing music from Kanye West, but for Bono, he truly experienced something one-of-a-kind that night at SNL.

Other songs on Bono’s list include The Beatles‘ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” Patti Smith‘s “People Have The Power,” and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys‘ “Empire State Of Mind.”