Kanye West’s Jesus Is King has shocked fans with his evolving music

Ili Pecullan, Staff Writer

In October 2019, Kanye West released his long anticipated ninth studio album: Jesus Is King.  The album falls into the genres of hip hop and Christian rap, while following a Christian theme.

West’s previous album, Ye, was released just three months before he announced that he would be creating a ninth album.  Ye is a hip hop album that West created in just two weeks while visiting Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  It became is eighth consecutive album to reach the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

After putting off the release date of the album many times, the rapper’s wife, Kim Kardashian West. announced on Twitter in August that Jesus Is King would be released in the fall.  The original release date was September 27, 2019, but the album was not completed until almost a month later.  While most of the album was recorded in Chicago, it was finished in Wyoming and released nearly a month later, on October 25.  The unexpected wait left many fans impatient.

“Kanye’s new album took way too long to come out.  I was waiting for it for so long,” said sophomore Terry McGinty.

Needless to say, Kanye’s new album is wildly different from his older albums featuring controversial songs such as “Famous”, “Gold Digger”, and “I Thought About Killing You.”  The inspiration for this album comes from a variety of places.

In January, West started a new ritual: Sunday Service.  At these services, he performed gospel arrangements of his songs with a choir group and other collaborators.  There, he performed two songs that are part of the new album.  West’s Sunday Service has occurred every Sunday since Jan. 6, 2019.

Over this past summer, it was revealed that West referred to himself as a “born-again Christian.”  In September 2019 on The View, Kim Kardashian West described his rebirth experience by stating, “Kanye started this to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family… He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ,” said Kardashian.

West’s mindset has changed a lot in the past few years, and it has really influenced his music.  Some listeners feel that Kanye West’s religious awakening has changed his music for the worse, while others believe it has changed for the better.  Thus, the album received mixed reviews from the critics and fans.

“While I’m happy that he had a religious awakening, I prefer his old music,” said sophomore Leah Schachter.

The main theme of the album is the Christian concept of salvation.  Unlike West’s old music, the tracks on Jesus Is King is are clean of explicit lyrics.  His personal pastor, Adam Tyson, was present during the recording of the album and tweaked lyrics when needed.  Kanye West’s purpose for the album is to preach the gospel in which he now so strongly believes.

“I really enjoyed listening to Kanye’s new album with my friends.  However, I miss the old Kanye a lot, and I wish he would release more music similar to his previous tracks,” said sophomore Isabelle Kitay.