Kanye West’s highly anticipated album, Jesus Is King, dropped with a half-day delay yesterday at 12 pm (EST). The Jesus Is King album is set in place of the ‘Yandhi’ album originally promised by Ye. The 11-song 27-minute project features Kanye’s Sunday Service Choir, Ty Dolla $ign, Ant Clemons, Fred Hammond, a sax solo from Kenny G and evenClipse, the former rap duo of Pusha Tand No Malice. 27 minutes may seem short for a Kanye West album, but it’s the longest project since his ‘The Life of Pablo’ production. Jesus Is King wasn’t any regular gospel album and this isn’t because it’s a Kanye West Gospel album. The album reflects a powerful yet calm testimonial praise and worship album. Acknowledging and accepting his journey as a ‘sinner’ before his recent conversion, but thankful and optimistic for the journey he is now on.
A Breakdown Of Jesus Is King
The project opens with ‘Every Hour’, the only track on the album that doesn’t feature any Kanye West vocals. This Sunday Service Choir track opened the album with an uplifting hopeful-themed hymn. Then transitioning to a strong piano ‘Selah’ which features Kanye backed by a strong choir. With this track, he delivers his testimony on his newfound faith (“To whom the Son set free is free indeed, He saved a wretch like me”). “Everybody wanted Yandhi, then Jesus Christ did the laundry” makes mention of him replacing Yandhi with Jesus Is King in accordance with his Christian faith. The next track, ‘Follow God’ is a sharp-barred track describing his struggle to live religiously. Making subtle connections to bible in the track. (Wrestlin’ with God, I don’t really want to wrestle)
Ye’s ‘Closed On Sunday’ track includes a little Chick-Fil-A humour. He also brings volume to his devotion to God, packing the track with biblical references which speaks to this. Followed by ‘On God’ where West addresses many of his own controversies like his mental illness, Trump connections and bankruptcy. Continuing his bible references, he connects the story of God testing Job to his bankruptcy. (That’s why I charge the prices that I charge, I can’t be out here dancin’ with the stars) alludes to the high prices of his ‘Yeezy’ line that helped him get out of debt.
‘Everything We Need’ features Ty Dolla $ign, Ant Clemons and a powerful selection from the Sunday Service Choir. It speaks to gratitude and devotion even in the face of adversity or temptation, referencing Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the creation story. Another Ant Clemons feature, ‘Water’, is themed on purity and the changes that come with transitioning into Christianity. The spirituality of the album continues with ‘God Is’. A soulful God anthem where Kanye boasts about the power of God and it’s effect on his life.
‘Hands On’, the next track, addresses numerous issues. Ye touches on the targeting of black men and also on the Three Strikes Sentencing Laws. ‘Hands On’ also addresses the rejection of Kanye from Christianity by many Christians. The track also gives the feel of a redemption song. Kanye talks about his break away from sin and his gradual growth into Christendom. ‘Use this Gospel’ features Clipse and Kenny G’s masterclass solo. The track touches on acknowledging the past, God’s forgiveness and gratitude for blessings. The project’s outro is the shortest track. ‘Jesus Is Lord’ closes the album with a Kanye’s simple rendition of a popular passage in Philippians.
Kanye’s Jesus Is King is a gospel rap album that doesn’t just focus on arriving in Christianity but the journey that took him there. The sound quality, the choir and Kanye’s gospel rap is something probably no one expected. The album’s theme gives the impression that Ye is renewed. The project as well as showing his deliverance shows that he knows he is still learning in God.
Kanye West Sunday Service Essentials
Along with the newly released Jesus Is King album, the playlist includes Jesus-themed classics. Tracks from previous albums like ‘Kids See Ghosts’, ‘The Life Of Pablo’ and ‘ The College Dropout’ dating back to 2004.