Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ a guilty pleasure you can feel good about

In perhaps the most erratic segue to an album release, Kanye West has once again endeared himself to black America and alienated his base en route to his new release, “Jesus Is King”. While many Christians remain skeptical of his new lease on life, his pro-Trump rhetoric remains a sore, blind spot pitting a wedge between West and his listeners. So, whether you’re a skeptic and don’t want to be suckered into supporting another charlatan misusing Christianity or you have a disdain for West’s political aloofness, you can still actually enjoy the album.

What makes “Jesus Is King” enjoyable?

For starters, the album is less than thirty minutes long. So, if you happen to enjoy the album, this is actually a point of contention and not relief. Also, the way the album moves and the messages within are purely wholesome…er, Christian. If you know Ye, the album (can you call it that?) sounds like a Kanye album and doesn’t concede any creative or musical genius in the name of wholesomeness. The song length and edits of many of the songs are troubling. They’re just as erratic as West has been for the past year. Cutoffs with no fades and the last song on the album isn’t even a full minute. Hopefully, there are “full versions” of many of these songs, somewhere. If not, these wreak of the same audacious ignobility with which West has created and released clothes, shoes and riffed about the vicissitudes of life in the most inappropriate venues and settings.

Did gospel music finally make room for Snoop Dogg?

With artists like Snoop Dogg releasing a gospel album and Chance the Rapper openly professing his faith, one notable differentiation is the fact that West is the featured artist on the album. Snoop Dogg was considered more of a curator of gospel content, only rapping on a few songs.

Examining the Curious Case of Chance the Rapper

If you’re looking for one of those wildly popular arrangements from the Sunday Service Choir, you won’t find it on this album. This closest this album comes to a remix or re-make is “God Is” a sample of the 1979 classic by the late Reverend James Cleveland, which becomes the track accompanying West’s rap and singing.

The Sunday Service Choir is on the album, though, all is not lost for those in search of their unique blend. The album is good and whether you love or hate Kanye West, it’s worth a listen. However, I’d advise you to listen because you want to and not to confirm or challenge his claims of conversion.

To be honest, Christians are ‘guilty’ of listening to non-Christian music and are some of the biggest supporters of secular artists. So, have a listen and judge the (very short) album on its musical merits and not its artist’s assimilation or lack thereof. Good music is just that, which is why so many believers find themselves curating the soundtrack of their life with music from artists whose life and values are much different from their own.

Nothing worse than a hypocrite. Change? He ain’t really different!
He ain’t even try to get permission. Asked for advice and they dissed him.
Said I’m finna do a gospel album. What you been hearing from the Christians.
They’ll be the first ones to judge me, make it feel like nobody love me…

Kanye West, Hands On

West is joined by gospel legend and innovator Fred Hammond on “Hands On” and asks “what you been hearing from Christians?” confirming that he’s heard and read the abundant skepticism and cynicism in the wake of his venture into sacred songs. Rounding out the guest features on the album are: Kenny G (yep), Clipse, Ant Clemons,Ty Dolla $ign, and the Sunday Service Choir.

“Jesus Is King” is good and worth a listen on account of its musical merit. You don’t have to like it, nor do you have to believe that West is genuine, that doesn’t change the fact that this assemblage of singers and musicians on this project make it well worth the 27+ minutes you’ll spend listening to it.

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