As Kanye West continues his Sunday Service event across North America, his fans feel their goodwill and patience being tested as they continue to wait for his indefinitely delayed next project.
While “Jesus is King”, West’s ninth studio album, is reportedly finished, Kanye is still unhappy with the sound mixing of the album and needs more time to tweak it.
The original release date, September 27th was revealed by Kim Kardashian on Twitter, along with a handwritten tracklist for the album.
However, following a listening party in Detroit, just hours after his Sunday Service performance there, Kanye announced that the release was to be pushed back to Sunday, September 29th.
The delay was supposedly due to Kanye wanting to do more editing to the mix of the album and him waiting for Nicki Minaj to finish recording a verse for the song “New Body”, a song about plastic surgery which has since been axed from the album.
September 29th came and went and the album still wasn’t released. Disappointed fans relentlessly flooded Twitter with memes, while Kanye continued his Sunday Service tour, frustratingly silent on the albums release.
“Jesus is King” marks a radical departure from West’s previous output, with fans at a recent New York show reporting that the album is nearly entirely religious-themed and curse-free.
Reportedly Kanye also told the crowd at the end of a Sunday Service show that he will never write any secular music again, deciding to focus on creating gospel music for the rest of his career.
Kanye is supported by an ensemble gospel choir throughout the album, a sound which conjures memories of the trademark soul-sampling of his earliest material.
When speaking to The New York Times, Kanye was loud-and-clear about the religious themes of the upcoming album: ‘This album has been made as an expression of the gospel, and to share the gospel and the truth of what Jesus has done for me … When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all he does for me, my soul cries out.”
While no singles from the album have been released, a plethora of footage of West’s Sunday Service tour has made it online, where Kanye displays the talent of his Gospel band and gives a preview of numerous tracks.
For instance on the album’s second track, “garden”, West meditates on his family as well as his belief in God. Ant Clemons, a singer-songwriter from New Jersey, provides the chorus.
This was followed up by the Ronny J. produced “Selah”, which features bouncing pianos and a chanting choir driving West’s fierce delivery of lyrics on violence and faith.
Some fans are still hopeful that the release of “Jesus is King” isn’t too far away, and a recent announcement by IMAX has some fans tepidly excited.
“Jesus is King”, the IMAX film that was originally supposed to release on the same day as the album, now has a confirmed release date of October 25 for North American cinemas.
In the film, Kanye performs his Sunday Service inside the Roden Crater, a massive sculptural installation built inside a dormant volcano by artist James Turrell. The project took 45 years to finish, with West donating $10 million towards the completion of the project in January.
There’s no way to know when Kanye will bless us with “Jesus is King”, but when the stars align in just the right way and he feels right to drop it on the world, hopefully it’ll be remembered for its own merits and not for its last-minute tweaks and delays.
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