Yes, here I am, a few years later removed from saying The Life of Pablo by Kanye West is a gospel album. It was and yet it wasn’t, as confirmed by West himself, but the sleuthing I did was true. Well, I must be a glutton for punishment in the comments, so here we are again – is Kanye West’s upcoming album, a gospel album?
On this prediction journey, fellow Rapzilla writer Steven Solis is doling out the assist for the story. His neverending detective work has led us to a proposed project called Sunday Service. Mr. West has been teasing a project since October called Yandhi that keeps getting pushed back. This sounds familiar if you remember the timeline of TLOP which also had several name changes along the way.
Throughout the years West has tettered the lines of Christianity and self-humanism by dropping songs such as “Jesus Walks” but then saying, “I Am a God.” It’s kind of hard to tell where his mind is at when it comes to faith at times because he flip-flops more than a politician. Regardless, he has an awareness of who God is and what it means to be a Christian. It’s evidenced in songs such as the aforementioned and “Ultra Light Beams.” He’s also opened up about his faith before. It’s part of Kanye’s frustrating charm, where he has the opportunity to be a beacon and then falls short spectacularly in often blasphemous ways.
Chance the Rapper is a kindred, albeit more steady representation of a Christian working through his struggles in the eyes of the world. He recently took a sabbatical to study the Bible. The two are also supposedly working on a joint album. This move greatly influenced Kanye so much that he said:
You have to see and feel how happy I am and how strong my family is. We are even stronger because of this through the love and grace of god
— ye (@kanyewest) December 15, 2018
I need to speak about how Chance demanding that we record in Chicago reconnected me with my roots and also my faith in Jesus Christ
— ye (@kanyewest) December 15, 2018
So where does this newfound reconnection leave us? Let’s take a look at some of what West is doing.
[fvplayer id=”49″]In the above clip, Kanye is taking some of his new and classic songs and adding a gospel feel and twist to it. Does that make the content gospel? No, it doesn’t. However, he is moving with that spirit.
The above clip doesn’t have a name but it is said to be an unreleased song from Yahndi. This would fit more into your prototypical gospel sound. If this were the sound he was going for, it would make sense to gear his live show around that too. That means, taking the hits and reworking them to make use of a full choir. It’s the kind of grandiose performance that suits Kanye. He wants an experience, not a concert.
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In the most recent Sunday Service rehearsal which happened yesterday (Jan. 13), they flipped the ye album’s “No Mistakes” chorus to say “Make no mistake He still loves you (believe it or not the Lord still shines on you).” Not only are the songs being reworked to fit a choir, but the lyrics are changing too.
West may have been planning to bring this “experience” to Coachella, but pulled out due to them not building him a dome. This is not a joke!
“Instead of performing on the main Coachella stage, West asked Tollett to construct a giant, custom-built dome in the middle of the festival grounds. The dome would be designed by West collaborator and set designer John McGuire,” reported Billboard. “…West complained that the main stage at Coachella was not big enough for his performance…”
So perhaps Kanye is going to harness this choir and dome performance into a mega tour. Again, this is speculation and some good ole’ fashion Internet puzzle piecing by Steve Solis, the Internet, and myself.
What do you think about Kanye West? Is this gospel album part two? Will he get it right this time?
Image credit: LJDILLA