“We are not going to sleep until this album is out!” Kanye West tweeted on Oct. 24, one of the many nights “Jesus Is King” was supposed to be released.
On Oct. 25, at around 9 a.m., Kanye’s ninth studio album, “Jesus Is King” finally dropped on all streaming platforms for eager fans to dig in and digest, and it exceeded my expectations.
West’s unreleased album “Yandhi” was in the works and set to be his next release on Sept. 29, but according to him in track two, “Selah,” of “Jesus is King,” “Everybody wanted ‘Yandhi / then Jesus Christ did the laundry.”
This album, unlike any project released by West, is a swear-free, gospel-themed album. Though it has its differences genre wise, it still exemplifies a well-perfected body of work in which he provides listeners with an update on where he has been personally and spiritually.
The 11-track album begins with “Every Hour,” sung exceptionally by West’s Sunday Service Choir. With this album opener, I can’t help but envision people rejoicing with the utmost emotions in the warmth and homey feel of church walls.
This is my first time listening to music of this form, and I have to say, the mixture of rap with the soft message of God is pure greatness.
“Jesus Is King” includes features with the Sunday Service Choir, Ty Dolla $ign, Ant Clemons, Fred Hammond, Clipse and moving notes by legendary saxophonist Kenny G.
My top three tracks are “Everything We Need,” “Water” and “Use This Gospel.”
In “Everything We Need” West, Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons collaborated to create what I believe is a short message of encouragement, keeping in mind what’s around you is all that you got, and all that you need. Kanye raps, “Life too short, go spoil yourself / Feel that feel, enjoy yourself,” followed by Dolla $ign and Clemons singing, “We have everything we need.”
“Water,” like it’s name, is very cleansing to the ear, with added sound effects of waves crashing, and layered vocals by Clemons and the Sunday Service Choir. In addition to the singing, West says a request to Jesus, essentially relating the process of the flow of water through the body to Jesus’ power to love and ability to heal, forgive and give us strength.
With “Use This Gospel,” as the second to last song on the album, it truly wraps up the album. “Use this gospel for protection,” West sings to listeners, very adamant of his purpose for this album.
Although “Jesus Is King” didn’t meet the deadline for the upcoming 2020 Grammy’s submissions, I think, in the future, West could definitely go home with a “gold sippy cup” for baby Psalm West, in exchange for his work on this album.