Jesus Is King shocked the music world


Kanye West’s disciples have followed him through it all, but recently, he released one thing they never could have predicted: a gospel album.

Jesus is King is Kanye’s ninth album but his first fully clean album. Fans didn’t know how to react. The all caps title demanded attention, and it was given. 

The album opens with “Every Hour,” a short, upbeat track with substantial and distinguished gospel roots. The song features Sunday Service Choir and does not include a lick of Kanye’s voice. A demanding piano melody keeps the rhythm—commanding you to stand up in a demonstration of praise. The vocals are layered with deep soul influence. I am not a religious person; however, I was humbled by the passion laced in the invigorating notes.

Compared to its predecessor, the fluidity to the second song is hard to find, but in this moment of confusion, the opening organ-filled melody reaches out to you for guidance through the album. This song, titled “Selah,” also features a choir in the background. This is the first we hear of Kanye on the album. He is not heard for long though; a lingering run of hallelujahs takes up much of the song. Once again, I find myself humbled at the talent and control demonstrated by the chorus. Bliss flooded my senses, and I tumbled through the high spirit weaved into this track. 

My favorite song on the album is “Use This Gospel.” The song features Clipse and Kenny G: perfect compliments to Kanye’s authoritarian voice. This song also includes a soul-lifting saxophone solo. It’s rare to find in rap albums, but it’s welcomed nonetheless, seamlessly interweaving itself into the already established tune. The song opens with a car-alarm-esque note. This same note repeats throughout the entirety of the song, yet it never gets tiresome. The simplicity of this note’s repetition reflects the simplicity of Kanye’s devotion to God. The manufactured rhythm kept me intrigued, and I caught the song dancing around my head all day.

This album surpassed my expectations for a gospel album by Kanye. The tracks and beats still felt like Kanye, but I felt the inspiration was lacking. The praise for Jesus was so constant that it felt ingenuine. He presumably compares Kim Kardashian to Chick-fil-a in Closed on Sunday” which felt forced and insincere.

The lyrics could have been improved, but overall, it was able to compete with Kanye’s other albums.