Photo via Kanye West

Album Review | Kanye West – Jesus Is King

Ye continues his gospel-influenced musical venture.

There are very few artists who have managed to stay at the top of the game for so long. Kanye West is one of the lucky few to succeed in this manner. With 9 studio albums to his name, Kanye has gone through various different soundscapes and themes. Known as a musical genius, Kanye’s strengths lie in his unique production abilities and his controversial lyricism. He has influenced much of today’s hip-hop segment, including Chicago’s own Chance The Rapper and Houston’s Travis Scott.

While Kanye fans have been waiting for another album since Ye dropped in the summer of 2018, Jesus Is King was not what they were expecting. In fact, Kanye explicitly stated that he would drop an album called Yandhi with an original release date of September 29th, 2018. While this project never came to fruition despite numerous delays, it is believed Kanye scrapped the album entirely for Jesus Is King. Although this new album is heavily influenced by religion, Yandhi was predicted to follow similar themes of faith, peace, and progress. While it may appear sudden for Kanye to start making gospel-like music, it is apparent that his music has referenced religion consistently. Whether it is his album Yeezus, the multiple references to God in The Life Of Pablo, or his new Sunday Service segment, Kanye has never been afraid to showcase his religiousness, similar to his compatriot Chance.

PHOTO VIA BILLBOARD

Track Listing:

Every Hour (ft. Sunday Service Choir)

Selah

Follow God

Closed On Sunday

On God

Everything We Need (ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons)

Water (ft. Ant Clemons)

God Is

Hands On (ft. Fred Hammond)

Use This Gospel (ft. Clipse and Kenny G)

Jesus Is Lord

PHOTO VIA BILLBOARD

Final Take | Review 5.5/10

I knew Kanye’s album would be a gospel album going in on my first listens. Although it is not my cup of tea, I could envision Kanye’s ideas come to life. One thing I really admired from this album was Kanye’s commitment to his religious shift. With no explicit songs, Kanye even made sure his features kept the music as clean as possible. Not only that, the Sunday Service choir reinforced how close Kanye has become to his church community. With that being said, Kanye’s album lacked substance in a lot of ways that make Kanye a genius. Although production was a strong suit from this album, it missed competent lyrics. Kanye’s lyrics were underwhelming, even for a subject that has a lot of material to work with. Rather than telling me a story or showcasing his artistic capabilities, Kanye restricted himself lyrically and it ended up hurting the quality of his album (see Closed On Sunday). Standout tracks for me were Follow God, On God, Everything We Need (ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons), and Use This Gospel (ft. Clipse and Kenny G).

Pros

New Kanye West can never hurt. He has shown time and time again why his music transcends time.

You can listen to this album in church now.

Production is on point, as always. (Shout out to Pi’erre Bourne on On God)

DTLR Staff

Culturally-educated and sneaker-cultivated, our guest writers continue to bring these creative stories for your enjoyment.

October 31, 2019

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