There has been much to say about Kanye West these past years, from what seems to be his alliance with President Donald Trump to his heavly scrutinized view on slavery. Through it all, Kanye has continued to stay relevant with his music. The newest release in the various discography he has to offer is his new album: “Jesus Is King.” Many Kanye fans have been clamoring for “Yandhi” the album which was slated to come out Nov. 26, 2018, but did not and hasn’t been mentioned since. The question is, does Kanye’s “Jesus Is King” album justify the “Yandhi” drama and the potential behind that unfulfilled release?
“Jesus Is King” goes in an entirely different direction than what people are used to hearing from Kanye, as it focuses heavily on a gospel and church tone. This should come as no surprise because he has been doing a lot of this recently with his Sunday Service Church. Kanye made his goal with this album very clear in an interview with Pitchfork saying that he wanted to “convert people to Christianity” with the power of his music. Kanye himself has taken this to the extreme as he has said that he only limits himself to two curse words per day and drinking alcoholic beverages as he sees them to be “bringing our Christian scorecard down.”
The album itself, like any Kanye West album, has moments of greatness. Even though it’s not one of the longest albums in his discography — only 27 minutes long — it does make up time with excellent tracks. Songs like “Follow God” which samples beats and has a tune of 1970s Christian soul is one of the best songs on the album and something the album does very well along with “Salah,” which puts his Sunday Service Choir to great use. Kanye also uses newer beats from different producers such as the very popular Pi’erre Bourne on the track “On God.” It is one of the songs you can tell West put lots of work into. “Use of Gospel” is also a great track that seems to be inspired by his 2013 album “Yeezus.”
That being said, the album is really not that good in more ways than not. The twenty minute runtime is simply too short. Kanye’s last few albums have been around the same length, but they feel more fulfilling than “Jesus Is King.” Kanye’s verses seem to be the worst part of some of his songs as the lyrics don’t really seem to work well. However, others who are featured on the album utilize the beat and the production better than Kanye does. A majority of the tracks on “Jesus Is King” will leave you wanting more out of the project with songs like “Water”, which feels clunky and has an overall bad structure in the context of the song. “Closed On Sunday” also has one of Kanye’s worst bars ever with the “Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-Fil-A”, sure it might be funny in the context of the song but it’ll just be known as a funny line more than adding anything onto the album.
Overall, “Jesus Is King” has its moments which, to Kanye’s credit, all of his albums have. However, the negatives of the album outweigh the positives and it doesn’t really bring anything new to Kanye’s vast amounts of music or the genre itself, which is why it’s disappointing and doesn’t have anyone looking for more of his Christian-centered music.