All the Wrong People Love Jesus Is King

Illustration for article titled All the Wrong People Love iJesus Is King/i
Photo: Oliver Contreras (Getty Images)

Like many black folks, I grew up in a deeply religious household. That meant prayers before every meal, three church services a week on Sundays and Wednesdays, and pretending like a lot of gospel rappers weren’t fucking terrible.

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Thankfully, now I’m a grown-ass man who no longer attends vacation bible school or is coerced into turning a blind eye to Reverend Pastor Deacon Elder’s frequent extramarital excursions. So with my days of church pews and altar calls well behind me, I can say what a lot of lying ass Christians can’t: that this new Kanye album is some bullshit.

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But what’s interesting, as reviews and opinions pour in: while some have joined me in being woefully underwhelmed by this god awful—pun intended—release from the self-proclaimed “greatest human artist of all-time,” all the wrong people adore Jesus Is King.

There’s the spawn of Satan:

The actual Church of Satan:

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And a deluge of MAGAts tripping over themselves to shower their soul-sampling savior with praise:

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Don’t know who any of these people are? Allow me to do the Lord’s will:

  • Pamela Geller is notorious for her anti-Muslim sentiments, Barack Obama conspiracy theories, and other right-wing nonsense.
  • Allie Beth Stuckey works for Blaze TV. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
  • Sen. Josh Hawley is Missouri’s Republican junior United States Senator.

Even the Washington Examiner loves this album, praising it for being “exuberant and eclectic.”

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What the hell is going here?

Remember in August when Dave Chappelle dropped his polarizing Sticks and Stones and the worst of white-kind decided that comedy special was a hill worth dying on?

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This appears to be eerily similar.

And I know, I know, Kanye’s canceled. Clearly, curiosity got the best of me and millions of others. But while white supremacists, Islamophobes, and other right-wing conservatives ride for the same man who once gave us “Jesus Walks,” I can’t help but wonder if his newfound quest to save souls was worth sacrificing his own.

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Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

crucifictorious2
Crucifictorious2.0

Look, I am 100% for people (re)discovering their faith. But when I listened to this album it really confirmed for me what I’ve suspected for a while now regarding Ye’s own “born again” path. It’s the path that people at their lowest find, and it fills them with so much euphoria that they just go headfirst in, not even a breath before diving completely into it. CoS (I think) said in a review that this album showed all the dogma but none of the actual faith, and I think that is pretty spot on. Because this type of faith is just like a drug, it’s all euphoria and craving it more and more. But eventually the euphoria wears off, and all you’re left with is the daily work of faith. People in this type of “born again” faith (who are often people with mental illness or a history of addiction, I was the former) are all in as long as they can ride the high of grace. But then when they come down, it’s much harder to hold onto your faith. When it isn’t all sunshine, and it becomes work, they just go back to the depths that the born again faith pulled them up from.

I worry for Ye here. Because he’s gonna crash again. And he hasn’t built the foundation of his faith strong enough to cushion his fall.