Amidst a plethora of Yeezy releases that don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, fans of Kanye West have been given something else to look forward to this month, after Kim Kardashian posted a cryptic tweet of what appears to be an album tracklisting, subscribed only by a date; September 27th. Many have speculated that this will be the release date of his eagerly awaited 9th studio album, following the release of Ye last year, and his collaborative album with long-time friend, Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts.
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It is clear from the supposed title - “Jesus is King” - that Kanye looks to bring the message from his weekly Sunday Service performances to a wider audience with this latest project. His weekly gospel sessions have served as a platform to “administer and communicate the message of love effectively,” explains West’s cousin and collaborator, Tony Williams. Setlists vary and often draw from the Chicago rapper turned preacher’s own catalog - with the song Father Stretch my Hands pt.1 being a common occurrence - but also borrowing from the Choir’s own songbook as well.
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It may be worth taking this announcement with a grain of salt however, following the drama that surrounded West’s originally planned 9th album, titled “Yandhi.” In similar fashion, a release date for this was announced by Kanye himself via twitter, set to release on September 29th 2018. The album was then postponed to the 23rd of November, but to this day, there is still no sign of Yandhi. It is unclear if the upcoming Jesus is King will be a reworked version of this, or an entirely new entity on its own. Whatever the case may be, fans shouldn’t be so certain that the 27th of September is the day that they have been anxiously waiting for all this time.
West is also no stranger to infusing his work with religious themes, dabbling with the idea from the very beginning of his rap career. Songs such as “Jesus Walks” and “I Am A God” highlight his relationship with God and religion, so an entire album dedicated to this theme, while at first glance may sound unusual, is more probable than it seems. It wouldn’t be his first time tackling difficult subject matter either, with Kids See Ghosts acting as a campfire therapy session between the two artists, detailing their own personal struggles with mental health issues, and Ye serving as a bold, brash, and unapologetic embrace of his bipolar disorder, proudly exclaiming it as his ‘superpower.’
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