Kanye West is once again polarizing the public with his venture into non-secular activities.
According to Billboard, the rapper was supposed to drop his gospel-inspired album “Jesus Is King” on Sunday, but per usual, Kanye has delayed the album.
Ironically, West has hosted more than enough listening parties for a select few people to leak info on the album. He first unveiled the reported 10-track, 35-minute album in Detroit last Friday at the Fox Theatre for a crow of 1,000. Then, he made his way to New York on Sunday. First, he stopped by Jamaica Queens where he had his usual Sunday Service, which has been organized at various locations across the country including a gospel-infused session at Coachella. That same day, Kanye went to Washington Heights, New York to play his new album again at The United Palace to a packed crowd who got in for free.
Since these events, some folks have reported back on the attributes of the album and it has some people divided or just plain confused. For example, Andrew Barber, owner of the music site FakeShoreDrive, tweeted that Kanye announced that “he is no longer making secular music. Only Gospel from here on out.”
The upcoming album also reportedly includes no curse words and is strictly gospel tunes, according to Billboard.
Some people aren’t convinced that Ye has turned over a life of secularism for a life of sanctified output, however, despite friends like Chance the Rapper describing him as “devoted right now” and “very well-versed in the Bible.”
“The way he talks about women in his other/recent albums, I’m skeptical he knows the gospel,” wrote one Twitter user. “I am much more willing to believe Chance is born again than Kanye. But I’m gonna give it a try and make a decision on how I feel about it then.”
Christian columnist Tobi Oredein also critiqued Kanye’s Sunday Service back in April, writing, “My major issue with Kanye’s Sunday Services is that they appear to be exclusive clubs for the rich and famous. The average person can’t visit — instead, we’re kept at arm’s length merely watching on screens. A church — or any gathering led in Christ’s name — should be open to everyone.”
Aside from Kanye fanatics, the Chicago spitter is also getting reservations from non-believers or people who might not be repping the gospel the way Kanye is repping it. According to Business Insider, one of the songs that will be on West’s new album is called “Closed on Sunday,” and it heavily references Chick-fil-A, which is, in fact, closed on Sundays because of the company’s Christian beliefs.
“Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A,” the song begins, according to recordings and reporting by folks who attended the listening parties. The phrase repeats as the hook of the track. The song then goes on to warn against Instagram (“Hold the selfies, put the ‘Gram away”) and it preaches the importance of faith (“Follow Jesus, listen and obey”).
The song already is getting side-eyes from some LGBTQ groups, considering that Chick-fil-A has a history of supporting organizations that don’t support the queer and trans community.
Other folks were just lukewarm about the content of the album.
But, of course, there were those hardcore Kanye fans who are still excited no matter the outcome.
Guess we’ll have to wait for the full album to get a better sense of where Kanye is mentally and spiritually.
Don’t hold your breath, this can be a long wait.