Right on schedule, Kanye West drops his new album Jesus is Born on Christmas Day. The record follows his delayed ninth album Jesus is King, a gospel-inspired work that received mixed to negative reviews from critics. According to Independent, Jesus is Born has a more traditional approach to gospel, where the previous one brought in elements of hip hop and electronic music. Kanye has spoken publicly about his recommitment to Christianity in 2019, as well as launching a series of choir-backed performances called Sunday Service.
The album features 19 songs including a cover of Kanye’s own “Ultralight Beam” and “Balm In Gilead,” a traditional gospel tune. According to CNN, While working on “Jesus Is King,” the rapper even asked collaborators not to engage in premarital sex while involved with the album. Although he used to rap heavily about that subject, it’s obvious West is a changed man. Nevertheless, he’s also come under fire from fans, after he came out in support of Donald Trump in 2018 and called slavery a choice. The newly-born again Christian has made waves through his Sunday Service events, one of them recently held at Joel Osteen‘s megachurch, Lakewood Church in Houston, before releasing an opera titled “Nebuchadnezzar.” A second opera, titled “Mary,” debuted earlier this month.
It’s not the first time Kanye used a major holiday to unveil a new musical work. On Thanksgiving Day, Kanye dropped his music video for “Closed on Sunday” his Chick-fil-A-themed song about family values off “Jesus Is King.” Kanye West released his album through the independent New Jersey record label Vydia. Jesus is King has been a commercial success earning the top spot on the Billboard 200 giving him his ninth album in a row to hit number one on the charts.
He opened up about his creative awakening, saying, ‘Even after that I made the Life of Pablo album and said this is a gospel album … I didn’t know how to totally make a gospel album and the Christians that were around were too beaten into submission by society to not speak up and profess the gospel to me because I was a superstar – but the only superstar is Jesus.’ The album is comprised of 19 songs that he and his choir came up with. His choir and him usually travel the country offering Sunday Services.
Kanye is now preparing to drop the Jesus Is King sequel with Dr. Dre. Kanye spoke about the collaboration during the Sunday Service in Lynwood, California, earlier this month. “Jesus Is King is my first clean album. I used to spend all my time trying to make my beats be mixed as good as Dr. Dre,” Ye is heard saying in a clip shared by TeamKanyeDaily. “Who knew all I had to do was do an album for God and then Dr. Dre would start mixing my beats? Spend your time on God, and he’ll handle the rest.”