Kanye lost it on “Jesus Is King”

Grammy Award winning artist Kanye West releases his latest project to widespread success and mixed reviews.

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Kanye lost it on “Jesus Is King”

Senior Jenaro DelPrete is a staff writer and social media manager for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in music reviews.

Senior Jenaro DelPrete is a staff writer and social media manager for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in music reviews.

Senior Jenaro DelPrete is a staff writer and social media manager for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in music reviews.

Senior Jenaro DelPrete is a staff writer and social media manager for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in music reviews.

Jenaro DelPrete, Staff Writer/Social Media Manager

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Everyone’s favorite outlandish mega-celebrity Kanye West has released his highly anticipated album “Jesus Is King” on Oct. 25. Following up some of his best projects in recent years like “Ye” and “Kids See Ghosts,” this latest record is an extreme shift in tones. Kanye’s journey with his faith has been publicized to no end, but “Jesus Is King” is no real departure from that same overly attention-seeking public eye. Running only about 27 minutes, this short LP kind of missed the whole point of worship music and hip hop at the same time and loses its luster very quickly. 

Kanye opens up this album with nothing special at all. “Every Hour” is an intro sung by his own Sunday Service Choir and for being an introduction to a whole record, I guess it’s okay, but in the context of the rest, it falls short of setting the real tone. “Every Hour” leads right into “Selah.” This song is a little bit better, still gives me a solid Kanye vibe and pumps me up, but I’m just overwhelmed with how pretentious the whole production comes off. The aggressively drowned out “hallelujah” in the back of the mix is just a lot, on top of Kanye’s delivery being dramatic as all get out. 

The third track, “Follow God” is actually quite good. Very upbeat, it gives me a pretty simple and older style Kanye rap flow. Production isn’t half bad on it. I wouldn’t say that it’s great but definitely an improvement on the other few tracks. Boom bap hard style beats were really popping in this track, nothing too over the top. Exciting and interesting to say the least. 

“Closed On Sunday” was a garbage attempt at a serious and somber track. Seriously cannot stress this enough, this track took all legitimacy out of the album. He is trying to convey his faith in Jesus in this song, but it really comes off as a joke: like he doesn’t care enough to make a decent song of worship. Just saying “closed on Sunday, you’re my Chick-fil-a” is a desultory jab at making yourself marketable and kind of flat out insulting to regular worship listeners.

I understand Kanye is still making a hip hop record for his regular fans, but if you’re going to make a worship album, then just make it and don’t make a mockery of it. 

The next few songs feel like they could be B-sides on a Lecrae record. Bland, boring, nothing to write home about. “Water” was a different kind of song. I guess it’s the closest thing to a TobyMac song on this project, feels a little fresher than the other stale songs he put on. I’m not thrilled with the production quality, but it’s passable for the most part. “God Is” sounds like Kanye rambling crazily out in the street about something wildly religious and no one is listening to him so his voice breaks as he tries to yell louder. “Hands On” sounds like the same thing but only he’s yelling about how amazing he is and how judgmental and awful all other Christians are. 

Musically, I’m not sold on it. I just get bored or disappointed while listening to this. There’s a lot of missed opportunities here. I feel as if he’s not pleasing any of his audiences or fulfilling what he’s capable of. The mixing is just off for most of the album. There are parts where you blatantly hear instruments that are off in timing or vocals that are lost in the music unintentionally. It was very clearly rushed. I know for a fact that this many mixing mistakes was not an “artistic choice.” 

I just don’t feel it. He’s got nothing going for him on this record. I think the reason this album is seeing success is because he has such a large, loyal, and frankly obsessive fan base. Which is fine, I’m a huge fan of his older works. “Graduation” is easily one of the greatest hip hop records of the 2000s. There’s just no substance to the hype. Kanye could have had another killer project, but instead he completely bombed it. Sorry Kanye, I really don’t feel great on this one, I’m going to have to give you 3/10 Greenfields. I hope you find something better to listen to today Chargers.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Jenaro DelPrete at [email protected]