Hip Hop Meets Jesus: A Creative Work by Kanye

Album Review

Controversial. Shock worthy. Fame seeking, KANYE. For some, it’s an album the world was waiting for, and for others, many would ask, “What is this album?” The highly anticipated Kanye West album, “JESUS IS KING”, was released Friday, October 25. Although “JESUS IS KING” was to be released around a month before on either September 27 or 29 of last year, in Kanye fashion, the postponement of the release created more and more hype around the album. People on social media expressed their anger about the delay and release while others thought this was just a publicity stunt.

The creative approach to this music is a mix of hip hop and gospel music, extremely unique to other music that has been created by Kanye, yet it is hard to deny its Kanye style. In the song “On God” you can hear the hip hop and rap elements such as the beats and rap-style singing combined with the gospel style lyrics that he was trying to incorporate into it. The style can be heard in the first line of the song which starts with “How you get so much favor on your side’ ‘Accept Him as your Lord and Savior,’ I replied.” When you first hear the beginning of the song, you feel as if you are hearing just another Kanye rap, however, as he continues the song, he reaches many people with different lifestyles in an effort to connect them to the message in the song, such as music listeners from the rap and religious groups. This shows the mix of the two genres of this album by combining religion and rap along with a catchy upbeat hip hop tune.

Kanye had a vision of how he wanted his uniqueness to be shown in this album. A part of his vision was to have recordings of the gospel choir in a desert in Arizona while having “Sunday Service” performances of previously made songs by Kanye to heighten the hype of a release. The desert can be linked to the desert Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the Judean Desert. This demonstrates the research and thought put into the details of the entire album. Kanye used his need for restoration in his own life and his longing to become a reborn Christian to reach a new audience while regaining the faith and commitment of his previous audience.

Although this is not a typical style of music usually created by Kanye, it appears to be a well thought out idea of bringing religion to a generation and audience that may have lost their connection to religion. The rap element and beats used throughout the album conveys a message of a journey alongside God that has made him successful and encourages others to follow a similar path of spirituality. Kanye makes religion seem appealing to his audience while bringing people closer to God. Due to his creativity and thoughtfulness along with the message in the album, this is a brilliant catchy work of art that may inspire future artists to follow in his footsteps. In my opinion, the delivery and execution of the album was well done and the music was innovative, clever, and visionary so I would highly recommend that fans and critics alike give this album a chance with an open mind and listen to the true meaning that is conveyed.

Overall, I would give this album a rating of 4 out of 5 stars for its uniqueness and catchy tunes.