Kanye West’s sudden conversion to Christianity shocked many as he produced an entire album of gospel music with his choir from Sunday Service. His album Jesus Is King has soared to No. 1 on the Billboard. This has sparked curiosity and placed the spotlight back on Christianity. What’s more interesting is how this divided the Christian community. Some Christians fully support West with his sudden conversion to Christianity, and other Christians doubt he’s genuine about his faith.
I Am God
On his 2013 album, “Yeezus,” West made an ostentatious declaration. “I am God,” he announced in a song of the same name. West made a reputation for himself of being a narcissistic and a tormented-genius rapper who was defying the odds. He took the music industry by a storm and didn’t stop there, he even went on to start a footwear line with Nike and became a giant with his Yeezy line in 2009. Even with his narcissistic attitude, Kanye West found a massive following of adoring fans.
When he married Kim Kardashian in 2014, he stayed in the headlines with ties to his wife as well as the feuds he had with other celebrities like Drake, Jay-Z, and Taylor Swift. In 2018 he released an album called, “Ye” which became his weakest album. West even promised to come out with another album called “Yandhi,” which never materialized and was instead replaced by his latest album, Jesus Is King.
Saul to Paul
“You know, I just absolutely love everything I’m seeing from Kanye. I truly believe that he’s had a Saul to Paul moment, for those that know the Bible.”David Harris Jr. , 2019
How did a narcissistic rapper who elevated his status to a God come to produce an album full of Christian gospel music overnight? This question divided the Christian community. Christian supporters of Kanye have made an analogy saying he’s transitioning from a “Saul to a Paul.” This turn didn’t come without some bumps on the road.
Kanye has had six years filled with successes and failures, with debt, mental illness, hospitalization, and an alliance with President Trump. In the midst of it all, there have been splashes of religion in his past. With the album, “The Life of Pablo” that West released in 2016, he described it as “a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing.”
Jesus Is King
Kanye West has since given up profanity in his music. West has said he will only produce gospel music from here on out. West’s rapping has always compensated with humor and profanity, now he’s going to have more constraints, which will leave him more vulnerable in his rapping. In his new album, Jesus is King, we have seen him already try to compensate as he strives to deliver his music now with a curated beat.
Kanye’s forte will always be producing music. He was able to blend different music genres like soul, gospel, and hip hop in a way, so it all flowed together. West also has an excellent ear for finding the right transitions between whispery chants of the choir to electronic-drum samples. Decidedly few producers can shift tones as seamless as he can. If becoming a born-again Christian is not the legacy he’s remembered for, at least he can be remembered for his music producing talent!
Check Yo’ Self
In my opinion, you can’t judge others on the life they lived before Christ. I think it’s what’s happening with the part of the church that believes Kanye’s conversion is not genuine. I like the verse Mathew 7:3, which says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” You don’t come to Christ because you’re perfect, you come to Christ because you’re flawed in need of a savior. If his conversion is genuine or not, God is still using him to bring the gospel to those who have not heard it.
What do you think about Kanye’s conversion? Have you listened to Jesus Is King? You can listen to one of his songs, “On God,” on the Remnant.