Kanye West finally drops his new album “Jesus is King” to eager fans

By Skylar Sharkey

Fans were shocked to find that Kanye West’s highly anticipated ninth studio album missed its scheduled release date of Sept. 27. “Jesus is King” is a companion album to West’s movie “Jesus is King,” directed by Nick Knight, and both have highly religious themes. 

A few months ago Kim Kardashian, West’s wife, hinted at the release date in a tweet that displayed the track list as well as the expected release date. Kanye fans were extremely excited for Kanye’s next studio album, but the couple’s promises were empty regarding the artist’s new music. 

“Jesus is King,” both the album and the movie, were released Oct. 25. They both are gospel-influenced and focus largely on West’s newly discovered Christian faith. West has stated to fans that his newfound relationship with Jesus Christ has caused him to realize the appreciation he has for his religion. This new album contains no curse words, and focuses entirely on West’s salvation. West has stated that in the future he will only be making gospel music; no more secular music for his long-time fans. 

The rapper-turned-gospel singer showed excerpts of the films at  listening parties. “Jesus is King,” the concert film, is only being played in IMAX theaters, and is only available for a limited time. Though the film has beautiful cinematography, the only purpose the movie serves is to be a multi-million dollar ad for the album. 

“Jesus is King,” like West’s previous albums, listeners can expect a diverse lyrical commentary on religion. It is safe to say this is West’s most radical album. West has not been one to shy away from tough topics such as slavery and politics, so it wasn’t a surprise when  West didn’t hold back on this new album with his religious views. 

The album kicks off with “Every Hour,” which is simply a gospel song. “Every Hour” is a bit too repetitive for my taste, but it does include some incredibly impressive vocals on the gospel choir’s part. 

My personal favorite of the album is “Follow God.” Kanye takes listeners a step further by comparing his relationship with God to his rocky relationship with his biological father. The lyrics are raw and real, and I appreciated Kanye’s honesty. This song is laced with groovy beats and is reminiscent of Kanye’s traditional rap songs. 

A second favorite of mine is “God Is.” Kanye isn’t really known for singing, but this ballad is hypnotizing. Listeners can hear Kanye’s voice strain throughout the song and it gives the ballad an edge unlike any of the others on the album. 

The album’s last track, “Jesus is Lord,” is a full-circle conclusion to this religious masterpiece. Only 48 seconds long, Kanye exclaims how “every knee shall bow.” The ending is abrupt, but I think this signals a new turn in Kanye’s career. 

The true question isn’t the quality of the music, it is how the audience will receive West’s sudden change in genre. Will West’s loyal fans adjust to his new musical style? Or will this dramatic musical change be too much for fans to bear? We can only wait and see.