The New Kanye


Teddy Awad

JESUS IS KING debuted at number 1 on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums List and currently has 188 million streams on Spotify.

Teddy Awad, Staff Reporter

In October of 2019, Kanye West released his ninth studio album JESUS IS KING. This album features 11 tracks of gospel/rap music. West features the Sunday Service Choir, Ty Dolla $ign, Ant Clemons, Clips, Fred Hammond and Kenny G. These artists came together and  delivered arguably one of the most modern (and best) gospel albums.

As early as 2018, the buzz of JESUS IS KING spread across the media. West announced the original release for the album as September 27. On this day, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, tweeted that the date will be changed to September 29. Yet again, the album did not drop.

West tweeted “To my fans, Thank you for being loyal & patient. We are specifically fixing mixes on “Everything We Need” “Follow Go” & “Water”  We not going to sleep until this album is out!”. This tweet told fans what was going on behind the reason of this postponed drop. Finally on October 25, the album officially dropped, and changed Kanye West’s hip hop into something brand new. 

The album opens with the Sunday Service Choir in “Every Hour.” This first song doesn’t even have West’s vocals in it. The song ends and immediately goes into the track,“Selah,” which is one of the more popular tracks on the album. West features lyrics directly from the Bible, quoting the New Testament book of John.

“Won’t be in bondage to any man, John 8:33, We the descendants of Abraham, Ye should, be made free, John 8:36, To whom the son set free is free indeed…” 

These lyrics drive the main idea of the entire album, praising the Lord. Song to song, JESUS IS KING delivers a different aspect of praise in each track. “Selah,” “Closed on Sunday” and “Jesus is Lord” all quote the Bible, while “Follow God” and “God Is” depict West’s personal journey with his faith.

Throughout the album, West utilizes choirs, cymbals, trumpets and violins, which are all symbolic throughout the Bible of instruments used to introduce Jesus. Other symbolism used in the album is in the song “Water.” The song goes through the sacrality and pureness of baptism. West stays true to the faith in the entire album by refraining from all profanity. West shows his fans that great songs don’t have to include foul language or topics to still please his listeners. 

Anthony Fantano is a popular American music critic who gave a review on JESUS IS KING. Fantano says “…[JESUS IS KING] makes me feel like this is less of a gospel album and more of an album of Kanye’s personal interpretation of Christianity which of course is molded in the image of his flawed personality,” in a review of JESUS IS KING. Fantano’s review on his YouTube channel theneedledrop mentions how although it’s a good album, JESUS IS KING fails to deliver the big anticipated “praise the Lord” story that West has been talking about. Fantano concludes his review by giving JESUS IS KING a 4/10. This rating angered the die-hard Kanye fans while also making many other listeners more comfortable with their opinion of disappointment with the album.

Overall, I believe that Kanye delivered another one of his hit albums. Although it doesn’t reach the level of Life of Pablo or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, JESUS IS KING still holds many solid tracks that were added to my personal playlist. West and his team were able to spread the gospel in a way that the youth and adults can all hear about.