From Deification to Purification, from Yeezus to Jesus, Kanye West’s newest offering “JESUS IS KING” will surely make you question the role of non-secular music in the modern music landscape.
From “I Am A God” in Yeezus era to “Follow God”, Kanye has certainly turned to faith rather than hubris after career tumultuous incidents and life’s inevitable curveballs.
This spiritual alignment was discussed by Kanye West in his latest Beats 1 interview with Zane Lowe in which the rapper exclaimed “I will no longer entertain” and “God is using me to show off.” Kanye perceives himself as a “Christian innovator” here to spread the gospel.
Around the formation of the album, despite his specific requests to his musical collaborators to abstain from pre-marital sex, Kanye was hosting what he coined Sunday Services which included Kanye’s family and friends, a gospel choir as well as a vast array of musical collaborators.
My favourite thing about this truncated 11 track album “JESUS IS KING” is Kanye’s integration of the maximalist gospel choir, a reflection and tribute to the Sunday Services as well as the symbiotic integration of James Turrell’s artwork (an artist known for his minimalism and use of glowing light) which Kanye believes brought him closer to God as well as James Turrell’s installation in Arizona which can be seen in “Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Film.”
So, what did we learn from this sermon of an album? Was it an insightful odyssey of one’s spiritual enlightenment and purification, or a bittersweet mess of semi-religious proclamations?
Kanye Was Addicted To Porn Until God Showed Him The Way
Yes, he admitted it himself in Zane Lowe Beats 1 interview. This is further cemented in his lyrics “there is a freedom from addiction” in his song “God Is”.
Kanye Loves, Wait You Said It, Chick-fil-A
Just when things can’t get any deeper and insightful about one’s spiritual enlightenment, Kanye spits a few uncensored bars about his declared love for Chick-fil-A, “Closed on Sunday/You my Chick-fil-A”. It certainly beats when Kanye trolled us with “Poop-ity scoop”.
open on sunday
— Burger Town (@BurgerKing) October 25, 2019
Kanye Made “Hallelujah” Cool
If the gospel chant crescendo of “hallelujah” in “Selah” doesn’t take you to church and feel like undergoing a pilgrimage to a grand mountain-top screaming “hallelujah” at the top of your lungs, then, are you even living?
Kenny G Should Be Worshipped: But Where’s The Altar?
Kenny G’s saxophone solo in “Use This Gospel” makes you question where saxophones have been your whole life!
Kanye: “y’all ain’t ready for this feature”
*Kenny G sax solo begins*
— Givin (@LysergicPsyche) October 25, 2019
Kanye Is Toying With Redemption
Despite some lack of cohesion in “Jesus is King”, Kanye honest to God is seeking redemption. This is reflected in “Closed on Sunday” with the lyrics “watch out for vipers, don’t let them indoctrinate” as well as his lyrics “this a mission, not a show” in “God Is”.
“JESUS IS KING”
— ye (@kanyewest) October 24, 2019
Kanye West touches the sky with his latest offering, but does he touch the heavens? Let us know what you think in the comments below.