Kanye West - Jesus is King
Jesus is King
After a month delay, plus a few hours, the Kanye West Jesusy album is finally here. This record is the accumulation of West's Sunday Services which has taken place over the past couple of years. The project came about after West entered the Hospital for what was described as a mental breakdown. Inside Wet began to read the Bible and copy down it's verses by hand (or so He says in his most recent interview with Zane Lowe). This brought Kanye to a spiritual awakening of sorts which has manifested in a return to the religion of his youth. Funny thing is, Kanye West has always been more about the self than his relationship to the whole. His cult of personality has ballooned to an almost cultish level with people putting Yeezus as their prophet of culture. That is what Kanye seeks to argue against here, He wants to take things back to before the shoes, before the clothes and hell even before the fame to boil it down to it's core elements. At the bottom of this exploration Kanye has found the christian god that is deeply rooted in the African American experience. Don't get it wrong, this is not jsut another artists mentioning god in a hip hop song, this is Kanye's Jesus period, just like we saw his Pablo period with The Life of Pablo. Is it good? In a way yes. The album sounds better than anything that was coming out of the scrapped Yahndi album release leaks. The delays have added some polish to the beats, but it still feels incredibly unfinished continuing where Ye left off. The Sunday Service idea is a fun one, Kanye songs placed in the hand of incredible singers and musicians then reinterpreted, but it's a novel idea not a sustainable one.
I don't know if Kanye is trying to get the Hypebeasts to give up either Yeezys for Bibles, but it kind of seems that way. He is trying to reflect what He feels inside and what he thinks everyone else should feel. The problem is religion is a sure fire way to alienate a hell of a lot of people. I'm one of those. "Water" would a really nice song save for the preaching right in the middle. For people looking for the "Old Kanye" He's here chopping up those soul songs again but it comes at a major price. You can tell the songs that were rushed like "God Is" where Kanye's vocal is absolutely fucked up. I know a lot of this review is my own preconceptions about christianity, but it's a lifetime of experience with the ills of the church that have brought me to these conclusion. However in classic Kanye style he only participates in what he "perceives" as christianity, not the way it actually manifests in reality. He wants the savior parts of religion, the knowledge He will be loved regardless of what He does, but doesn't want to recon with any of the bad parts. Half baked ideas are Kanye's forte, and it's what makes him an interesting and ever changing artist. Is this my favorite Kanye? No. But there should be room for an artist to explore whatever they hell they want. I don't have to agree with it to listen to it, nor do I have to agree with it to enjoy it. You can be two things at the same time, because that's being human, and contrary to what he might think, Kanye is still human.
7.0 out of 10