I have to shamefully admit, I was skeptical when I first began hearing about Kanye’s dabbling in Christian circles a few months back, and didn’t pay much attention until recently. He’s been hosting his own church services. Now he has released what may be considered one of the most God-glorifying hip-hop albums to date in Jesus is King. After listening to the album a couple time (It’s absolutely awesome and I’ve lost count), here are a few thoughts on Kanye and the new album.
- God can save anyone. Nobody is too far from the grace of God.
- Kanye’s message has changed. The message of this album is different from any album or single he has released in the past. Kanye has moved from the message of “Kanye is King” to “Jesus is King.” He has moved from “Gold Digger” to “Jesus is Lord.”
- Kanye was not forced to create the album. He did so of his own desire. His goal is not what is popular, but what displays God. He is putting his neck out there for God’s glory, not for record sales. If anything, this will lessen his popularity, but he seems unconcerned about that. His concern is announcing the good news, despite what it may do to his reputation. It seems he has counted the cost of following Christ.
- The lyrics center on and display God and his gospel, at some points even more so than most modern worship. The message is not, “I am…” but “God is.” He sings not about Kanye, but about God. Truly, #JesusisKing
- The gospel is clear and salvation may result. Kanye’s twenty-seven minutes of gospel proclamation is more than many Christians have proclaimed in the last year.
- Kanye needs prayer. We ought to pray rather than prevent. We should steer rather than silence. What a newborn needs is not negligence, but nourishment. As a new convert, Kanye needs guidance in his gifting and influence.
- Jesus is King.
What Others Are Saying
Shai Linne chimed on the release date with a thread of tweets that cannot speak more truth:
“10 quick thoughts:
1. I LOVE that the album is called “Jesus is King”. No better title for an album. God decided to flex His Son’s glory at the top of the charts and trending- for all to see.
2. Like many, I’ve watched Kanye closely and been praying for him. Based on what I’ve seen, it appears that Kanye is a new believer. Praise God! #JesusisKing has the aroma of someone who’s had an encounter with the Lord and wants everyone to know it.
3. Much could be said about the artistry on #JesusIsKing. The soulfulness, how he pulls from traditional gospel in fresh ways, the catchy melodies, the passion, etc.- All that is dope. But what I love is that His aim is so clear. To give praise to the God who saved His soul
4. It seems clear to me that it’s not a “strategy” on Kanye’s part. He’s not focused on appeasing a particular crowd or “market”. He’s sharing His love for the Lord and letting the chips fall where they may. No one made him do this content. “Out of the overflow…” #JesusIsKing
5. There’s a beauty in the simplicity of the messaging on #JesusIsKing, perhaps epitomized on (maybe my fave) “Water”- “Jesus, please help/ Jesus, please heal/ Jesus, please forgive/ Jesus, please reveal” Refreshing to hear such childlike faith and dependence on the Lord.
6. Tbh, I was listening to #JesusIsKing in my car going to pick up my son and I wept. Ugly tears, y’all. Of thankfulness to the Lord. That He’s still in the business of saving. That He takes blasphemous lips and turns them into instruments for His praise.
7. Kanye said in a recent interview that he used to go hard for culture, now he’s going hard for God. Amen. This is exactly why many of us started doing CHH. To “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9) #JesusIsKing
8. #JesusIsKing exposes the notion of hiding Jesus to reach the culture for the foolish philosophy that it is. It also exposes hearts like mine- tempted to grow complacent & lack the zeal we once had as new converts, before we had all our theological i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
9. Overall, I’m really encouraged by #JesusIsKing . It’s not perfect, but that’s ok. Justification comes before sanctification. Let us not despise the loud, passionate cries of a newborn. May God grow Kanye in His faith and protect him from the many snares unique to his calling.
10. And to those still devoted to proclaiming Christ through hip-hop- Don’t stop! The Lord may be pleased to use your sharing the gospel in your music to save (or strengthen) the next Kanye or Cole or Cardi. Keep Lifting Him up! #JesusIsKing”
Lecrae chimed in:
Matt Smethurst tweeted a video interview Jimmy Kimmel did recently with Kanye:
A worship leader himself chimed in:
Or check out the full interview of Kanye on Jimmy Kimmel live. This is the new Kanye under a new king!
Give the album a listen and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the universe alongside our new brother Kanye.