Kanye West’s new Christian sound for his album “Jesus is King,” which was released on Oct. 25 through GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings, has his fans are left with mixed emotions.
“This album wasn’t great at all. This change wasn’t good in my eyes. It only had two or three good songs on it,” said senior Paul Jaime. “His other albums are better than this one. It’s not like I’m going to play this in the car.”
Junior Jason Padilla said the album was “trash,” as he prefers older Kanye West music.
“It only had one good song, but I already knew it was going to be gospel before I listen to it because of the name,” said senior Julius Aguilo. To me the album will be good for another audience, not for the people that like his original style.”
In the months after he announced a recommitment to Christianity, the album is West’s first offering in the wake of Sunday Service, the performance series he’s turned into something of a global church brand.
A Pitchfork review said “’Jesus Is King’ is a representation of his past sins, absolution, a blank slate from which to spread the word of a very specific God, one whose blessings rain down on a cul-de-sac in Calabasas and a ranch in Jackson Hole.”
West’s old album “The Life of Pablo” was explicitly an album about faith — and yet the timing is notable.
Senior Gabriel Lingatong expected more of West’s old rap style in the album, but nonetheless enjoyed the transition of style West made for the album.
“I’ve been seeing him more happy once he found his Christian self,” Lingatong said. “When I listen to the album, the choir and instruments really hit. It’s very chilling to hear, you could feel the emotions and the gospel part. Kanye’s diversity shows he’s a good artist.”
With the mixed feelings and hate West has been receiving, the album hit number 1 on Billboards. The album also topped Billboard’s Christian albums and gospel albums charts, marking West’s first appearances on those rankings.
“It’s a good mixture on getting gospel music into the industry,” said senior Rosie Mandela. “I feel like there is a lot more hate because it’s Kanye [and] you don’t expect him to preach about God and being at church on Sunday.”
Mandela believes that West album is good as a gospel album, and people should be open to mixing rap and gospel, as it creates a more versatile album.
“You’re not going to get the same type of music over and over from Kanye,” Mandela said. “Listening to Kanye you can tell he doesn’t have a specific sound. So, if you don’t have [have] the type of ear to where you’re able to take in all his diversity in his music, then Kanye isn’t the artist for you.”