"We Go High" finds Chance the Rapper opening up about his past relationship issues with his wife (and mother of his child), Kirsten Corley. During the first verse, Chance admits to not being faithful in the early days of their relationship. He recalls how Kirsten reacted to his infidelity by abstaining from sex. My baby mama went celibate
Lies on my breath, she say she couldn't take the smell of it
Tired of the rumors, every room had an elephant
Tryna find her shoes, rummagin' through the skeletons
She took away sex, took me out of my element
I tried to do the single-dad mingle-dance
Chance previously admitted to not being faithful to Corley on 2018's "65th & Ingleside
." That song details the ups and downs of their longtime relationship.
At the end of the first verse, Chance builds off a famous Michelle Obama quote to depict the ups and downs in his relationship with Kirsten.
But he go high (We love You, God)
And we go high
They go low, we go…
The slogan "When they go low, we go high" was popularized in a speech by Michelle Obama during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Chance's spin on the quote evokes a more spiritual high ground.
Chance first met Kirsten Corley at a Christmas party when he was nine years old. They began dating in 2013 and welcomed their daughter, Kensli, two years later. They separated for a time because of Chance's infidelity, but after Chance began taking his Christian faith more seriously, the pair rekindled their romance. During the third verse, Chance gives praises to both Kirsten and God for saving their relationship.
I used to dive headfirst, just know I had to let go of the flesh first
It's true, God, this union was for You, God
Speaking to Nicki Minaj on Queen Radio on Apple Music's Beats 1, Chance talked about how he expresses his gratitude to his wife during the emotional rap confessional.
"I explain that my wife literally saved my life by becoming celibate and going and getting baptized. It changed her life obviously, but we're talking about me right now. It changed my life for real. Now I know exactly where my strength comes from."
Chance and Kirsten started dating again in January 2017 and Chance is thankful for her being "gracious" enough to take him back.
"This is all after Coloring Book, after I proclaimed that I love Jesus, and all that stuff," he said. "You're never fully, fully sanctified, so I had to keep figuring it out. I had to do the Grammys by myself. I had to do a lot by myself. Then when my girl was gracious enough to have me back, it changed my whole life. Now I know exactly where it all comes from."
The song samples the voice of ex-gang member Mike Servin, who is known for his viral videos praising Jesus Christ.
The sobering music video was directed by Elijah Alvarado (Good Charlotte's "Life Can't Get Much Better"). The clip, which tells the story of Chance and Kirsten's once-fractured relationship, opens with the rapper's partner plucking bones of a skeleton out of her closet. We then see Chance drinking inside a nightclub, where it begins to rain inside. He returns home, only to find his girl gone.
Chance revealed in the making-of video that some scenes were filmed in the actual apartment where he and Kirsten lived when they had their first child.
Chance the Rapper admitted in a Genius annotation
that when he wrote the song he wasn't thinking of Michele Obama; he didn't have an understanding or context of her achievements as a black woman back then. The "we go high" line just felt the right way to finish the verse.
When he dropped the track, people were saying, "He got that from Michele Obama." Chance's response was, "Damn, I did. That's crazy."