West sucessfully combines gospel and rap on new album

Kanye West's new album "Jesus is King" was released on Sept. 27. (photo courtesy of thedailybeasy.com)

Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King” is one of his most interesting albums. It isn’t one of West’s best albums, but it does showcase what makes him great. He completely changed his style and took on the challenge of combining gospel and rap into one soundtrack.

In the album, West gets personal and opens up about his life and the spiritual enlightenment he found.

In one of the songs, “Follow God,” West talks about how he is working towards being a better Christian and how he wants the people around him to be better Christians as well. West, in an interview with Big Boi, shares how he told the artist who helped produce his album to avoid having sex while making this album. In the song, West alludes to his father, Ray West, who called him out for being Christian but not spreading the gospel. 

“On God” is my favorite song on the album, because listeners get a glimpse of vintage West. “On God” talks about the respect West has for single mothers. He brings awareness to the social injustice of the Thirteenth Amendment, which allows modern day slavery through the for-profit prison system. After saying slavery was a choice, it was refreshing to hear these words from West. He talks about the highs and lows he experienced in his career, and he refers to the bad times as “when the devil had control over him.” Kanye opens up about his struggles of being $53 million dollars in debt, being briefly diagnosed with psychosis, and watching his wife Kim Kardashian on Dancing with the Stars —  a show known for picking up celebrities when their popularity is fading.

In “Hands On,” West brings to light the hypocrisy in the Christian community. Many Christians called West a hypocrite for claiming he is Christian while overly valuing physical items. He clapped back at those critics in “Hands On” by calling them hypocrites for being judgemental of him. West explains how there are Christians who claim they are forgiving and open to all, but make him feel bad about his spirituality with their judgement. Fred Hammonds, who appears in one of the verses, suggests in the song that Christians should be working towards helping West put the past behind him instead of tearing him down.

This album is one of West’s most thought-provoking albums. He uses it to open up about how religion has helped him change his life for the better, but he also uses the album to talk about the challenges he faced while working towards spiritual growth. Lastly, in the album, West shows that he’s a torn figure and a complicated one. 

I would say his attempt at gospel rap was successful. It included him opening up about the trials and tribulations he has personally experiened. West makes the listener question their own character and if they can consider themselves a good person. That’s what I believe West aimed to do with “Jesus Is King.”

“Jesus Is King” is now available on all music streaming services.

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