Kanye Finally Drops ‘Jesus Is King’
Kanye West finally dropped Jesus Is King, his Christian influenced album (I guess it’s a gospel album?).
The 11 track, 27 minute collection comes after a couple years of announcements, retractions, new announcements, and delays. Ye originally announced a project titled Yandhi back on September 18, 2018 and it was supposed to come out on the 29th of that same month. That came and went and it was officially postponed until Nov 23, 2018. That didn’t happen either.
In January of this year, Kanye started his weekly Sunday Services, and his creative direction started changing. Religion became his focus, and in July, via Kim’s Twitter, Jesus Is King was announced. The track list has since changed, and there was a delay (shocker) but now the album is here.
I recommend giving the album a listen. Politics and other actions aside, I am a fan of Kanye’s production and music since The College Dropout. I haven’t liked everything, so this isn’t a blind recommendation. The album is centered around Christianity, that’s a given. You may not be religious but you might gravitate towards positive messages, and this album has them. The songs can make you feel good and pick you up. Religion doesn’t have to mean putting others down. This album has none of that, and all of the positivity that religion should be about.
The energetic opening of Every Hour punches you in the ear with the sounds of his Sunday Service Choir. But after that, the sound drastically changes. Selah hits you with militant drums. He also addresses his album switchup, with the line “Everybody wanted Yandhi, but Jesus Christ did the laundry.” Follow God is hands down a banger. It’s a throwback to the sound of The College Dropout Kanye, specifically Two Words which featured Mos Def and Freeway.
Closed On Sunday sounds like it could have been on The Life of Pablo, with it’s darker, lower tone. On God sounds like Graduation era production mixed with his more recent work. Ant Clemons and Ty Dolla $ign contribute to Everything We Need, a reminder that you don’t need a lot of extras in your world. The processed chorus is pretty infectious, and Ye’s verse sounds like he definitely wrote it himself. Water has such a happy, slow groove to it. The verse’s lyrics sound like something Chance would have written, and it’s punctuated by the positive sounds from the choir and Ant Simmons smooth voice.
God Is is straight from the 70s or early 80s. Seriously it sounds like he hired players from back then. Hands On sounds like Pablo Kanye again, as far as his delivery. The minimal, warm sound of the electronic background feels good as a simple backdrop. And Fred Hammond sounds gooooood.
Ok, now we get to the biggest surprise of the album. First, The Clipse reunite for the first time in years! I know Pusha T has been around Ye for years, heading up GOOD Music, but No Malice shows up too. And then… a KENNY G SOLO? The early 90s powerhouse woodwind guru jumps in for a sax solo over the minimal musical backdrop. We wrap up with a brief and traditional sounding hymn that matches the wall of sound that opened the album.
So check it out! Production-wise, it sounds great. Lyrics wise, it may not be everyone’s thing. But, if you need a pick me up, some of the songs here can definitely handle that. Don’t let the religious tone prevent you from at least giving it a shot. It’s full of positivity, and some of us need that on the regs.