In his upcoming album, “Jesus Is King,” Kanye West goes on what has been described as an evangelical rant, asking listeners to disconnect from Instagram and calling the city of Los Angeles “Satanic”.
He and wife Kim Kardashian West own a Los Angeles home worth $60 million.
Kanye credits a church choir with helping to inspire the gospel-influenced album.
“By having the luxury of having an amazing choir around me every Sunday, I came to know the truth and the joy of Jesus Christ,” Kanye told a crowd gathered at a listening party over the weekend in New York’s Washington Heights.
A born-again Christian, Kanye threw listening parties in Detroit and Chicago over the weekend, leading the audience in prayer before playing the album, The Sun reported. He recycled lyrics from religious texts in the upcoming album and presented a documentary including gospel versions of his songs at the listening party.
His long-delayed ninth album was supposed to be released a year ago. Kardashian West said via Instagram that the album would arrive on Sunday. By Monday, still not.
In his song “Closed,” Kanye advises listeners to “Put the gram away”, referring to social media platform Instagram. The album is full of messages of how the modern world is evil. The song “LA Monster” claims the city of Los Angeles is “lettin’ Satan run they streets.”
In a song called “Selah,” Kanye refers to himself as “Yahndi” — a comparison to Ghandi. If he gets blowback on that, it won’t be the first time he’s accused of having delusions of grandeur. In his 2013 “Yeesus” album, Kanye likened himself to Jesus and later said he regretted doing that.
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Here are some lyrics for the album, courtesy of The Sun:
“It’s the ugliest nightmare born from the prettiest dreams; millions of people trying to get on the scene; and everyone selling their souls, everyone saying they woke, but they sleepwalking, dead, eyes closed.”Lyrics from Kanye West’s “Jesus Is King”
In the song “Hands On,” Kanye asks for forgiveness, saying he deserves “three strikes” like in baseball for his claim that 400 years of slavery was a choice African-Americans made.
Previous Kanye releases were live-streamed online for the public, according to the New York Times. “Jesus Is King” listening parties were more intimate and were held at physical locations. He invited V.I.P.s Chris Rock and Alexander Wang to attend. Free tickets were released a few hours beforehand for fans at landmark theaters. Each gathering had its own line of “Jesus Is King” merchandise for sale.
“This album has been made to be an expression of the gospel and to share the gospel and the truth of what Jesus has done to me,” West told a crowd at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood. “When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all that he does for me, my soul cries out.”
There is no new release date in sight for “Jesus Is King,” XXL Mag reported.