It’s the end of November and that means 3 things – Thanksgiving...
The Gospel according to Kanye – Jesus is King
Love or loathe him, there is no denying that Kanye West has made an impact in the gospel industry. His debut gospel album ‘Jesus is King’, has spent 52 weeks at No1 on Billboard’s top gospel albums chart.
Released in October 2019 to much scepticism, the 11-track album was a successful gamble and has gone on to receive 3 Dove award nods. This wouldn’t be West’s first gospel/Christian industry award nomination though. In 2014 West was nominated in the Stellar awards rap/hip hop category for his song ‘Jesus Walks’. The backlash that ensued led to the nomination being pulled by the Stellar awards body. Over the last few years, he has since reintroduced himself to the world as a Christian, renounced his former lifestyle and boldly declared that he now works for God.
At the top of 2019, footage of Kanye and a choir singing in the fields of Calabasas emerged online, however it’s the viral clip of his sample of Fred Hammonds ‘This is the day’ that caught the attention of the gospel community. Under the musical direction of former West Angeles church of God in Christ choir director, Jason White, Kanye’s choir reimagine popular secular songs as well as some of our gospel favourites. The vision to start a ‘church’ came to him whilst in hospital after having a mental breakdown. What started as an intimate Sunday service for his family, has grown into a movement and the choir now known as the Sunday service choir. The movement has birthed 2 projects - Jesus is King and the Christmas 2019 release – Jesus is born.
Kanye and his Sunday service choir have since taken their show on the road stopping over at mega churches, prisons and even Coachella. Harris county jail inmates were blessed with a secret concert and testified of God’s presence powerfully hitting them. Could God truly be at work? Scripture shows us that God will use any willing vessel.
For those still in doubt about Kanye’s conversion, his only words are that ‘... we can’t be concerned with the opinions and validation of men but only God ‘. Kanye’s message is simple, ‘…. Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel. To let people know what Jesus has done for me…. I’m no longer a slave but a son of God. I’m free... ‘
And the saints of God said … Amen.
By Akosua Dwomoh-Fokuo Premier Gospel Presenter