Finally, a Kanye album fans can bump to in the church parking lot.
“JESUS IS KING” is Ye’s newest release, dropped on October 25th, and I bet you have already listened to it. At the first note of the gospel choir, that Yeezy sound filled my ears: the crisp vocals and unique beats. Featuring the talents of Ty Dolla $ign, Fred Hammond and Kenny G, this may not have been what we have been waiting for, but it might be what we need. Kanye is a Christian now, and I suppose he felt the need to tell the world. He did so with this album.
“Every Hour” uses climbing piano riffs and strong, full-voiced chords to evoke a desperate plea to “sing ‘til the power of the Lord comes down.” Its quickened tempo even makes it quite the useful exercise tune, not unlike “POWER” from his 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
“Selah” begins softly, an organ progressing slowly amongst rap verses, and ends in a thunderous release of guttural chants shrinking into nonexistence. Selah is an exclamation used in the Bible that means “pause and think on these things.”
“Follow God” features a familiar string of words. Yes, Kanye found another song in existence that mentions stretching hands to the Father. It, of course, ends with a deafening scream, which just happens to illustrate how stunned I felt about him being able to do so.
I have no idea how others feel about “Closed on Sunday”, but it reminded me of the beginning of Jordan Peele’s “Us.” I was wary and kind of afraid … until Ye says “You my Chic-Fil-A,” which had me weak. The cluck-like yell at the end had the same effect on me.
“On God” starts with a question and an answer. Ye spits his Bible-tied verses over a video game-like beat and concludes with the statement of a fact, “I go hard/That’s on God.” Ye is truly one of the hardest working artists in the game, this being his ninth album and all.
I felt “Everything We Need” was the most tonally pleasing song on this album. It features Ty Dolla $ign, Ant Clemons and even more biblical bars.
“Water,” my favorite song on this album and preferred beverage, gives me Frank Ocean vibes from the start. The laid-back beat and minimalistic message make for easy listening.
Only snippets of “God Is,” “Hands On” and “Use This Gospel” were memorable to me. To be specific, they were both Fred Hammond and Kenny G’s features respectively.
“Jesus Is Lord,” the last song on the album, sports a brass accompaniment that raised my spirit: an appropriate end to this uplifting album.
I never thought Kanye would join the ranks of rappers who have tackled such a feat. If you are looking to fill a playlist, Snoop Dogg released a gospel album last year that is over two hours long. Grandma will be none the wiser.