Yeezus to Jesus
With the release of Kanye West’s gospel album, “Jesus Is King” there has become definite controversy
Kanye West, an extremely well known rap artist, released an album on October 25th titled “Jesus Is King”. The album is composed of eleven worship songs that tell the story of Kanye West’s walk through his faith. There is scripture and teachings from the Bible heavily incorporated throughout the album. Kanye also incorporates well-known artists, such as Ty Dolla $ign, Fred Hammond, and Kenny G, on the album as well.
However, “Jesus Is King” has caused arguments across the country over whether Kanye should have dropped such a contrasting album from his previous music that he originally obtained his fame from. Both Kanye West fans, and the Christian community, have had strong opinions regarding the album.
The Christian community around the country have become disputed over their likeness of the worship album. A portion of Christians have been critical towards West’s past. They have criticized his family, language in previous music released, and his overall lifestyle in the past. These people see Kanye as sinful, and consumed by his fame, and they are expressing this negativity on social media. This portion of the Christian community does not understand his drastic shift towards gospel music, and large amounts of them are an older crowd.
“My grandma and my mom hate Kanye because of his old music and his obnoxious behavior” junior, Jack White said.
Kanye chose not to respond to most of the negative social media attention towards him with his transition to a more faith-based platform. He is put up with hateful comments by this time in his fame so he was not too bothered. Kanye has also expressed that he is very confident in his decision to follow God, and the hate comments do not change that.
However, the contrasting side of the Christian community sees the positive effects that his album may have on listeners. This group of people are in support of the album due to the fact that it has the message of Jesus Christ within it. With the worship album, Kanye is using his platform as a way to share the message of his God. He has even started to hold his own worship services with a choir called Sunday Service. Kanye leds this gospel group, and they have a Christian gathering every week in various areas around the country. He has held a service on his own property, along with gatherings in Chicago, Ohio, and Wyoming which were open to the public. Kanye West has even brought the Sunday Service gospel choir to Coachella this year.
“I think the new album is great! I love how he made the center of the album about faith and Jesus” freshman, Bridget Swan said.
The majority of this group of supporters has been young age groups, compared to the ages of the people that have been criticizing West. High schoolers have typically kept an open mind about Kanye and have enjoyed the new content.
“I think that it’s amazing what God is doing through Kanye and I love his music. It’ll change how people see him as a person and it can change rap music. I like how different and how outside the box it is. His transformation in music has been cool to watch” White said.
Whether in support or not, Kanye West’s listeners are exposed to gospel teachings while listening to “Jesus Is King”. Many of the people that listen to Kanye regularly, but are not religious, still showed interest in the new music. The album is surely more appealing to Christ followers, but it has also proved to be appealing to all people, as well as all ages.
White discussed how he does not typically listen to worship music, “But I love when rap is mixed with it like in Ultralight Beam or Waves on Life of Pablo”, White said.
Overall, there are definite supporters and criticizers of Kanye West’s newest release, but it has not made West second guess his strong beliefs. His transition of lifestyle has been an inspiration to many.
“I think Kanye sets a good example for everyone. He shares a positive message on a big platform and shows that anyone can use their voice for good” Swan said.
“I think Kanye is turning into a bit of a dad, but I like it, and it seems like it’s going well for him and his family too,” White said. “you can make whatever kind of music you want as long as you love it.”