Kanye West finds new career direction in Jesus is King

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Kanye West finds new career direction in Jesus is King

Image courtesy of Def Jam Records

Image courtesy of Def Jam Records

Image courtesy of Def Jam Records

Will J. Stines, West Hills Staff

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Kanye West, commonly described as excessive and egotistical, is known as the current king of the rap scene. However, this “king” of rap has traded in his title for the King of Kings.

Since 2004, the rapper and record producer has a platinum career that includes eight studio albums through 2018. Releasing an album almost every other year, seven of those eight studio releases reach number one on the Billboard charts in the U.S. and have been certified platinum. This includes the exclusive streaming service Tidal release of his 2016 The Life of Pablo. Not too shabby for the likes of a probable Rock n Roll inductee. For the music mogul, 2019 would bring a few chances to say the least.

In late October, West’s new album Jesus is King, was released. He released his first gospel album and on top of it all, West confessed to the world and especially his fan base that he is a born-again Christian. Was it a ruse, or over the last 16 months had the rapper changed his strips?

“West switches things up and allows Jesus to take the wheel this go-round. On JIK, the braggadocious MC pedals back on the arrogance and exudes humility and gratitude throughout the 11 tracks,” according to the Billboard webpage, which debuted eight of the 11 tracks on the Hot 100. The album included collaborations some of Kanye’s frequent collaborators like Ant Clemons, Ty Dollar Sign, but it also includes Hands on with gospel icon Fred Hammonds. Also, the gospel choir Kanye West gathered together than rivals the musical talent of Hammond’s Radical for Christ Choir circa the 1990’s. Jesus is King is a blend of the rapper’s hardcore styles of his past and the newer sounds of gospel. The 11 tracks speak about everything from Jesus to West’s 2002 car accident to Chick Fil A. It seems to be a very different Kanye West that fans enjoy.

Is West is walking the walk as the Christian euphemism goes? He has been on every late-night show including Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden and speaks how his party life is behind him. He has led southern worship revivals that reports 1,000’s are being “saved.” West even gave a performance in a Texas prison and viral videos show inmates joining in the worship.

West is still his egotistical self at times. He speaks radically about his support of President Trump and keeps hinting about running for the highest office in the 2024 elections. Yet on Nov.18, the reformed rapper/gospel performer announced a sequel to his gospel album. It will be a collaboration with the legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre. It comes down to this question; is the changes in Kanye West over the last year just a publicity ploy, or has he changed his heart? Only time will tell.