Kanye West’s Jesus Is King album is finally here. After another 12-hour delay on Friday (Oct. 25) sent fans into another temporary panic, the 11-track effort hit streaming services around noon ET.
With Ye diving head-first into his faith as a son of God, West looks to spread the message of the gospel. Lyrically, it isn’t the brash Kanye we’d become accustomed to that’s going to make your heartrate spike, as he’s decided against cursing and touching on the typical explicit topics that dominate rap, which have him a long ways away from the days of rapping, “You’re such a fucking hoe, I love it.”
Between his call to abolish the 13th amendment or referring to himself as the greatest artist ever, here are West’s wildest lyrics from Jesus Is King.
“Thirteenth amendment, gotta end it, that’s on me/ He the new commander and the chief/ That’s on Keef, that’s on God.”
West’s turbulent relationship grappling with the 13th amendment continues with “On God.” Last year, his controversial TMZ trip spawned the infamous “slavery was a choice” soundbite that was heard around the world. Here, he wants to take on the challenge of ending the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, but a loophole has allowed private prisons to exploit prisoners. That leads into him bringing up the commander and the chief, which could hint at his planned run at the Oval Office in 2024.
“Closed On Sunday”
“Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A/ Hold the selfies, put the?’Gram?away/ Get your family,?y’all hold hands and pray.”
The catchy hook of “Closed On Sunday” seems to be an early fan-favorite. West provides some comic relief by trolling Chick-fil-A for closing their doors on the Lord’s Day. He then takes aim at society’s social media addiction, pleading with people to take up religion and put their phones down. West explained to Zane Lowe of Beats 1 that social media “gives him anxiety” and it pushed him to retreat to quiet Wyoming at times for solace.
“I was looking at the ‘Gram and I don’t even like likes/ I was screamin’ at my Dad, he told me, ‘It ain’t Christ-like’/ I was screamin’ at the referee just like Mike.”
Kanye doesn’t speak about his relationship with his father, Ray West, in his music often. During “Follow God,” West references a recent argument with his dad, comparing his antics to Michael Jordan berating referees for foul calls throughout his NBA career.
“In ’03, they told me not to drive/ I bleached my hair for every time I could’ve died/ But I survived, that’s on God/ I’ve been tellin’ y’all since ’05/ The greatest artist restin’ or alive.”
Ye delivers his strongest lyrical peformance with “On God.” He flashes back to cheating death with his life-changing car crash in 2002, and then plants a flag in the ground declaring himself the greatest artist of all-time, even though he’s been telling us this for the better part of a decade.
“There is freedom from addiction/ Jesus, You have my soul/ Sunday Service on a roll/ All my idols, let ’em go.”
West turned to God to free him from his addictions. He admitted to Zane Lowe that he suffered from a porn addiction for much of his adult life, which was kickstarted after reading his dad’s Playboy at just five-years-old. In that same interview, he also called Jay-Z his “biggest inspiration” when breaking into hip-hop, so he could possibly be referencing him here.
“Closed On Sunday”
“Raise our sons, train them in the faith/ Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake/ Follow Jesus, listen and obey/ No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave.”
By devoting his life to Jesus, West hopes that other parents will have their children do the same. Prior to starting his transformation in April, West said he used to serve the culture as his God by purchasing materialistic items and shock society with his outlandish antics. It was also in part an addiction to inspiration. “I thought I was the God of culture, but really culture was my God,” he told Zane Lowe.
“Got pulled over, see the brights/ What you doin’ on the street at night?/ Wonder if they’re gonna read your rights/ Thirteenth Amendment, three strikes/ Made a left when I should’ve made a right.”
Kanye puts his spin on racial profiling by recounting an all-too familiar encounter between civilian and police officer. He references the 13th amendment once again, possibly connecting the “Three Strike” statute valid in certain states to slavery.
“You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name/ Listen to the words I’m sayin’, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane.”
The 42-year-old hasn’t been the same since becoming a servant of God in April following his Coachella performance. He is looking for other troubled souls to convert as well since Jesus saved his life. West also feels like his rebirth has cured his battle with mental health. During his 2016 hospitalization was actually when Kanye wrote down the idea of starting a church in Calabasas.