Kanye West’s “Jesus Is King” Drops And It Is A Masterpiece
At only 27 minutes in length, Kanye West’s latest is a masterpiece, a born again tribute to Jesus Christ. I’ve only heard it twice, so this is very much a first take, and I will have more to say, especially after I’ve caught the IMAX movie tonight but just this, right now, it is the Gospel pop of Anthony Brown added to the cut and paste of Travis Scott (or, obviously, The Life Of Pablo), and is so intricately arranged it can’t be absorbed in one sitting, or five.
Everything here is outstanding, from the choir opening with “Every Hour” to the quite amusing “Closed On Sunday” with its gentle flamenco guitars (“your’re my Chik-Filet”) and the punchline, “We’re nobodies slave”. One of the more beautiful songs, “Everything We Need”, features Ty Dolla $ign, and the other, “Hands On” features the Gospel giant Fred Hammond. “Use This Gospel” has Kenny G on board (I know).
On one level, we are talking Slow Train Coming, first rush of faith stuff, it is so joyful, on the other, it is his third album that hasn’t changed the zeitgeist for hip hop, the way 808s And Heartaches and The Life Of Pablo did. People won’t be following Jesus Is King because they won’t know how. And if you listen to Lecrae, probably the best Christian rapper, he takes from mainstream rap where West takes from nothing at all.
I will return to the album and write more after I see the movie, for now… WOW!