Yeezy forgoes God moniker and says Jesus is King

From drop out to believer. Peter Hutchins

Yeezus and Jesus fight for the crown, Yeezus gives up

I read a quote one time from an author whose name escapes me talking about Kanye West’s Yeezus album and specifically the song called “I Am a God.” They wrote that they could picture Kanye staring at himself in the mirror repeatedly pronouncing “I am a God” to himself, almost as if he was trying to convince himself that this was true. ’Ye is one of the most accomplished artists of all time and has been known both for his creative works and for being, well, a bit of an ass. He has recently come out with Jesus is King, a short worship album emphasizing that he has given his life to Jesus and become a reborn Christian.

In my opinion Kanye is a marketing genius. It is extremely fascinating to watch him work from a different perspective. Over the past decade, usually just before an album or clothing line is about to release, Kanye is (suddenly) active and absurd on Twitter. This draws both praise and outrage and it gets both people and the media talking about him and his album and then he sells, or streams, millions and his clothing or shoe line sells out in minutes. Now, I’m not saying that Kanye has leveraged born-again Christianity to promote an album and acquire new listeners or former ones he lost from his “slavery was a choice” comments BUT, there is a pattern of this behaviour from a very intelligent and calculated artist and marketer. Not to mention he is a part of the Kardashian family, which has dominated pop culture for the last 15 years.

The album itself is unique but is organized similarly to his last album Ye and his 2013 album Yeezus in the sense that Kanye is trying to create a very short, yet high quality 27-minute listening experience. Anyone who has listened to Kanye regularly knows how often he mentions his faith, God, and Christians, but the tone of this is obviously different. He bashes you over the head with it like a church choir, but he does it over traditional rap beats and weaves in an unexpected aggressiveness in some songs (“Selah”). Kanye is also quite heavy on repetition which is what makes it feel very gospel-like and would likely turn off any secular listeners, but he may rope some hardcore fans in with some references to old Kanye and how “Christians will be the first ones to judge me” which will have non-Christians screaming Hallelujah along with ’Ye.

It is hard to judge Kanye on his artistic work, because it usually turns out that he is always ahead of his time and artists copy his music styles (see autotuned Graduation & 808’s & Heartbreak). His rap skills are significantly tuned down on this album, but his producer skills are on full display and I highly recommend listening on a high-quality sound system to get the full experience. Kanye is one of the few artists, particularly in the rap industry, that can make a full-blown Christian worship album, yet not get dubbed a Christian rap artist and relegated to the back of the Apple Music or Spotify playlist. Whether Kanye will stick to his non-cussing Christian worship music ways or be back to destroying exceptional beats in a cuss laden rap album proclaiming he is still the king remains to be seen. Either way, I look forward to hearing whatever Yeezus does put out, because it usually turns to gold, with or without the help of Jesus.

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