Rapper Kanye West began Sunday Service meetings that have been described as a “spiritual Christian experience” earlier this year. Currently, the events happen every Sunday and include gospel music, some prayer, and preaching. The services seem to be somewhat exclusive, musical worship gatherings for the rich and famous. The most notable part of the experience is the music. So, it comes as no big surprise that on September 27 Kanye is releasing a new gospel album titled “Jesus Is King.”
Kanye is no stranger to Christian lyrics. He hit the scene with the infamous “Jesus Walks” and took the hip hop community by storm. However, even though he may sprinkle Jesus into some of his albums, they are also laced with vulgar language and content. This year, however, the rapper has made a dramatic change after starting up his very own church gatherings. His new musical project will reflect his Sunday services.
The services have been held every Sunday afternoon in Calabasas since January 6, 2019. What makes West’s Sunday Services especially unusual is that there is a dress code. Although the uniforms for the choir vary week-to-week they usually consist of a garment that is a combination between a t-shirt and a choir robe, plus Yeezy sneakers and trousers. When speaking of these services, his wife, Kim said:
The last few years Kanye has always said that he wanted to start a church. So he just started it for his close friends and family.
It’s just really about the music and about healing and there’s this whole gospel choir, it’s really just magical.
The tracklist for the upcoming album is completely mixed with references to Jesus, God, or the Bible. Songs like, “Baptized,” “Sweet Jesus,” “Garden,” “Selah” and “Water” are a few of the tracks.
In 2015, critics were in an uproar after the new Kanye West Bible hit the scene. “The Book of Yeezus: A Bible for the Modern Day” was created by some of the rapper’s biggest fans. It combined the traditional biblical version of the book of Genesis with a foreword to declare the creative vision which explores the way cultural icons tend to morph into spiritual figures.
The fans, as stated on the website, literally worship the mega social icon, pop star, designer and idol of the church of Yeezianity, who, at the time, was none other than, famed rapper Kanye West. This “religious” community consisted of zealous Yeezus followers who felt privileged to share Kanye’s message. It was powered largely by teenagers who vowed to only refer to him as Yeezus and never again mention his government name.
These followers believed Yeezus had shown the world the creative potential resident in every human and is a living model for behavior and ethics. The trio of “entrepreneurial brothers” added a quote from Yeezus:
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of Yeezus you may receive what is promised.
The creators of the “coffee table novelty” say the “Book of Yeezus” is not a substitute for any undying devotion or traditional religious Bible. It is simply a study of how Generation Y and society as a whole represents its icons. The belief is each generation champions its own superstar. This person is consistently relevant and accompanies the generation through its evolution, while ultimately shaping its identity. This generation, known as Generation Y, maintains that Kanye’s orchestrated life is truly a religious experience.
The three brothers have no affiliation with Kanye but have a special interest in mass society and its effects on the current worldview and imagination. The Book of Yeezus: The black, gold-leaf imprinted hardcover book is designed to spread the pseudo-doctrine ascribed to Yeezus. The brothers simply want fans to use their pulpit, as they live out the doctrine, for good.
The Grammy-winning artist’s powerful presence for this generation cannot be denied. He offended many of his non-supporters when he invited a Jesus impersonator to accompany his “Yeezus” album tour. As the artist continues to evolve, critics are now upset about the Sunday services and his pending gospel album.
Reportedly, Kanye’s Sunday Services are an energetic worship experience where the producer covers classic songs and converts his own hits into gospel music, choir and all. Attendees all say it is not a church. Currently, the services, with the exception of Coachella, are only for the elite. However, the new album “Jesus Is King,” set to release on September 27, via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam, will be available for all to enjoy.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Christian Post: Kim Kardashian shares Kanye West’s upcoming album title, ‘Jesus Is King’
NPR: At Kanye West’s Sunday Service, ‘He Is The Church’
Stereogum: Kim Kardashian Shares Tracklist & Release Date For New Kanye West Album Jesus Is King
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