[Noteworthy] Kanye West drops long awaited Christian album

Illustration by Lindsay Lang

By RJ Murphy, reporter.

 

Love him or hate him, Kanye West is undoubtedly a cultural icon as a critically acclaimed musician, producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur. His unreserved antics and personality have been the topic of many tabloids, and has received relentless criticism. With the release of “Jesus is King,” West is making a statement regarding his values and what he plans to do with his success.

Originally titled “Yandhi,” this album was scheduled to be released September 2018, but was postponed indefinitely. In early 2019, West began holding Sunday service performances, gospel renditions of songs from his discography and announced he would only be making non-secular music moving forward. Fans were shocked. This born again Christian isn’t the same as the Kanye who made “I Love it” in 2018, a wildly explicit hip-hop song featuring Lil Pump.

West renamed the album “Jesus is King,” scrapped a number of songs and replaced the lyrics with scripture. As West said in an interview with Big Boy TV: “Now that I’m in service of Christ, God is showing off.”  Besides spreading the good word, the album is about staying true to yourself, even when the world around you pressures you to do otherwise.

“Jesus is King” was scheduled to be released earlier this year but failed to drop multiple times. Fans were upset and confused. Was Ye having another mental breakdown? Was this all some sort of publicity stunt? Delta student Vincent Khan, 20, Bay City, was one of those disappointed, having been a Kanye fan for 2 years.

“He does some of the craziest things, from his shows to the things he says,” says Khan. “He’s always doing something to keep everyone’s interest. […] I don’t think he’s lost fans; I think he’s lost some of the fans’ interest. People get frustrated when you promise them something and take it away from them.”

On October 25, “Jesus Is King” was finally released. The album is laced with samples of gospel choirs and has sacred, positive vibes radiating from each track. It is still a rap album, though. West manages to make the hand picked passages from the Bible flow with the rhythm of the drums effortlessly.

Although it does seem preachy at times, it doesn’t come across as corny or a gimmick. The lyrics feel sincere and meaningful. “Jesus Is King” is a window looking into West’s mind and soul; a battleground where Jesus and Satan are trading blows. In the end, only one entity can ascend to victory.

A “Jesus is King” movie was released to accompany the album and is being shown in select IMAX theaters. West has also announced a Christmas album titled “Jesus is Born” which is scheduled to release this Christmas.

West’s journey has been an inspiration to many. Ye fans have a lot in store for them within these next couple years; just don’t expect anything to drop on schedule.

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