Kanye West’s Jesus is King reminds me of that South Park episode where Eric Cartman makes gospel music. The episode clearly shows what artists will do so as to sell copies of their albums. Cartman made gospel music so as to win a silly bet and nailed it. Kanye West has now made Jesus Is King, an album where he acknowledges that he is a staunch believer of the Lord and Savior. The only difference here is that he is making gospel music for himself.
Jesus is King is the ninth studio album by Kanye West. This isn’t his first time where he brings up religion in his music but this is the first time he has made a Christian hip hop album. Throughout the 27 minutes of listening to this album, Kanye acknowledges that God has done so much for him and he is grateful.
Let me just say that not a lot of people will like this album. It’s alien to what Kanye West fans are used to. Yes, he can be abrasive with his work but this is a complete 180.
Everything about this album is pure gospel. The opening song, Every Hour features a service choir and you immediately feel like you’re in church. And that trend will continue up to the very last song. And that’s where my issues with Jesus Is King begin. I was excited to hear some new Kanye West music but this wasn’t what I had in mind.
The kind of Kanye West portrayed here is humble, submissive and willing to change his ways. Most importantly, he is vulnerable. This is unlike Kanye West who is proud to call himself a God. Here, he acknowledges that there is a God.
It’s not like the submissive Kanye West is bad. He actually opens up about his hardest times and how he is grateful for his family’s support. He talks about how he bleaches his hair for every time he could’ve died in On God. If you keep up with his life, he has bleached his hair on a few occasions. Such songs open up a side of him we haven’t seen before.
He even goes on to talk about the Christian’s reception of this album and how they will still judge him in Hands On. It’s these few moments where Kanye West is the most coherent. Other times, the album reminds me of Eric Cartman. What the two have in common is how they keep repeating the name Jesus. Especially in the song Water. Jesus.
Another incomplete album?
There has been a trend with Kanye West’s albums since The Life of Pablo; they usually feel half-baked. You really can’t put your finger on it but you always end up feeling like something is missing. Here’s the problem, it is more of your problem than a Kanye problem. Let me explain.
Kanye West, ever since he broke out as a rapper, has never made music for the masses. He has always made music that seems fit for him. Our job is simply to consume it. Because he has given us classic albums in the form of College Dropout, Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch The Throne, and Yeezus, we seem to expect another classic.
The problem is times do change and Kanye seems to be in a different state of mind. He is focusing on himself right now and the music he is making now seems appropriate for him. And with that, I’ll say good for him.
But given this is an album review, I have to make my remarks about it. Jesus is King is Kanye West telling us that he has found the light and that is fine. I’m just not a fan of gospel music. At least he isn’t being opportunistic like Eric Cartman. I’ll just give it a 6/10. It’s an okay listen.