Even from the beginning of his career, Kanye West has shown us that he was born and raised in the church. It is clear that his mother, the late Donda West has been a huge influence in his journey through Christianity . Even beyond Sunday Service, West’s spiritual side has been here. West’s spiritual side has been spotty, dominant and also considerably convenient in timing. Is it a coincidence that after the Donald Trump and slavery debacle that he has gone straight Kirk Franklin? Is West’s journey genuine? These are all questions that are being asked, but one thing that will never be at question is his talent. It has been said that the ‘College Dropout’, Kanye is long gone. Once that is understood we can embrace this new (Holy) 42 year old version of him.
After months and months of Sunday Services and ‘Yandhi’ getting scrapped, we now have ‘Jesus is King’. Kanye has always been a controversial artist and has seemingly put his foot on the gas the last few years. The black community stood behind and supported Kanye for years. That was until he decided to speak on you know who. As hip hop fans, when your favorite artists does the unexplainable we still ask for an explanation. Artists like Jay-Z, Tupac, T.I. and even Drake have done a good job of doing damage control via song lyrics when things got hot. Don’t expect to hear any apologies from Kanye on this album.
What you should expect to hear on ‘Jesus Is King”.
Since West is an amazing producer he isn’t capable of making anything that could be considered all around the board trash. With West making so many headlines one would expect a lot disclaimers and explanations on this album. That is definitely not the case. With help from Artists/producers like Timbaland, Evan Mast from Ratatat, Fred Hammond and Pierre Borne, ‘Jesus is King’ breaks a great deal of genre rules. Sonically the album is a pleasant and warm listen for those who love soul, gospel and rap. It may not be West’s best album, but certainly his most cohesive work in over 5 years. Songs like “God is” and “Follow God” are reminiscent of the Kanye we grew to love when he was literally begging to be a rapper for Roc-A-fella. “Watch The Throne” and “My Twisted Dark Fantasy” Kanye fights his way through on songs like “Use This Gospel”, featuring Clipse and Kenny G. Elsewhere, we get dramatic and confrontational Kanye on “Selah”, which had drums very reminiscent of Yeezus.
The final word
Ultimately I give this album 7.5 because it’s Kanye. There are great expectations that come with having such an extensive catalog. Where the album lacks in deep lyrics he makes up with production, but it just wasn’t enough to gain a B average. Overall a great listen with very bright moments to go a long with dark moments that could potentially be fulfilling for die hard Kanye West fans. This sounds like Wests way of showing us he is serious about his Christianity. I know many will agree when I say WE NEED MORE! A lot of this album is contradicts the very person he has chosen to support as our president. We loved Kanye because he was innovative and thought provoking. Now we have this Kanye who is incapable of seeing outside of “his” own world therefor it comes off as if he’s reaching to be relatable.