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Jesus is King Review

Rapper and producer, Kanye West, has been one of the most prolific people in pop culture for over ten years. West has won 21 Grammys, has maintained a high profile relationship with Kim Kardashian, and has also created a notable fashion brand called Yeezy. His last album, released in June of 2018, Kids See Ghosts, received critical acclaim and was praised for its positive lyrics regarding mental illness. 

Since then, Kanye has been traveling throughout the country performing his Sunday Service with a gospel choir. Kanye’s Sunday Service is best described as a religion-inspired concert; West and his choir perform traditional Christian hymns, as well as Christian-inspired takes on his past songs. In September of 2018, West announced the release date for an experimental hip hop album called Yandhi, however, the project was postponed and rescheduled for a later date but it has not yet materialized. 

A year later, West announced the release of a new album with the name Jesus is King. The album was scheduled to come out on the 27th of September after a listening party in Detroit, but it did not surface. Kim Kardashian then took to Instagram to announce that the album would be pushed back two more days, but shockingly the album, once again, failed to get released. 

This postponement largely upset his fans such as Olivia Franco (‘22) who said, “I was expecting him to delay the album because it is classic Kanye to do that.” Two weeks later, West confirmed that the album would be coming on October 25th, and after months of delayed releases and strange postponements, Kanye West’s Jesus Is King was released to the public at noon on that day. As expected, the album has a strong gospel undertone. The first track, “Every Hour” is completely performed by West’s Sunday Service choir. The song is uplifting and serves as an exciting introduction for the rest of the album. Followed by that is a song entitled “Selah.” This track showcases West’s ability to mix old-school hip hop with gospel influences. After that is the chart-topping song, “Follow God”, where Kanye raps about the reality of the decisions he chooses to make. What comes later in the album is his collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons entitled “Everything We Need”. The song displays how West has found a purpose in God, and how he feels satisfied with where his life is. My favorite song, “Use This Gospel”, features lyrics from West, Pusha T, and his brother No Malice.  The track has a theme of gratitude and forgiveness. Perhaps the greatest part of the album is when famed saxophonist, Kenny G, delivers an impassioned solo.

To conclude, I thought that Jesus is King was a solid album.  However, many expected the album to be his best yet when in reality,  it raised peoples’ expectations for them to only be disappointed by an unfinished album. There were times where the album seemed unfinished and choppy but overall it was great to see Kanye both find a purpose again and reinvent himself. I would give it a 7.8/10.

Charlie Susser is currently a sophomore at the Packer Collegiate Institute and a staff writer for the Prism this year. This is his first year on The Prism. He joined the Prism because of his interest in journalism and sportswriting. Charlie is a member of the Varsity Baseball team as well as the Inquiry Club. A fun fact about Charlie is that he always manages to fall asleep on the subway. You can reach him at chsusser@packer.edu.

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