Kanye West has risen—12 hours late, but who’s keeping track?—and, after cruising through his new 27-minute album, the Ringer staff divulges their first impressions
After multiple delays and the literal scrapping of an entire album, Kanye West has returned on this good Friday (get it?) with his new record, Jesus Is King. It’s a different, more Christian, more Kenny G–reliant Kanye. And so after listening to the new songs, the Ringer staffed rushed here to unpack it all, from Kanye’s newfound religion to the rapper’s legacy to the quality of his Chick-fil-A metaphors.
1. What is your tweet-length review of Jesus Is King?
Justin Charity: It ain’t Christlike.
Donnie Kwak: A good album.
Sean Yoo: John 11:35—Jesus wept.
Andrew Gruttadaro: Jesus Is King is like assigning a writer to a 3,000-word piece and then the writer hands it in late and it’s only 800 words—but hey, at least those words aren’t so bad!
Tyler Tynes: It would’ve been better if Kirk Franklin made it.
Kate Knibbs: I’m glad the prosperity gospel is working out for Kanye, I guess.
2. What is your favorite song on the album?
Gruttadaro: “Use This Gospel,” the song with Kenny G and actual rappers, and also the only song on the album that seems complete.
Charity: “Selah” sells the whole endeavor pretty well.
Kwak: “Follow God” is a superlative Kanye rap song.
Tynes: “Follow God” is an absolute banger. It is also probably the only banger on this confusing, warped, silly, unnecessary addition to the Kanye West legacy that has spiraled into a Candace Owens fairy tale that I’d personally like to see end already.
Yoo: Disregarding the car alarm that’s going off nearly the entire run of the song, I think putting Clipse and Kenny G on a song together is a beautiful thing. I’m going to create a Kickstarter to get Pusha T, No Malice, and Kenny G to record an album together. Please donate.
Knibbs: “Follow God” is great, and I wish it wasn’t the only song I wanted to listen to again.
3. Least favorite?
Charity: “On God” is the cheapest, most honking, most Mario Paint bullshit since “All of the Lights.”
Knibbs: “On God” sounds like a discarded demo for a Sonic the Hedgehoglevel where Sonic goes to heaven but then it turns out it’s actually hell and the IRS is there.
Tynes: Everything that’s not “Follow God,” a Ty Dolla $ign hook, or a Kenny G sax riff.
Gruttadaro: “Water,” a song as boring as its namesake tastes.
Kwak: “God Is,” because I just can’t really get with earnest-singing Kanye—as opposed to unserious-singing Kanye (“Closed on Sunday,” “On God”).
Yoo: The one about Chick-fil-A that’s obviously supposed to be about keeping the Sabbath holy. I can’t believe there is a Genius annotation about that line.
4. When is the last time you went to church?
Tynes: Chill, dog, my momma read this website. What are you, the police?
Kwak: If last month’s Jesus Is King NYC listening doesn’t count, I’d say maybe like … three or so years? I went to Hillsong in Times Square.
Charity: My girlfriend is a minister.
Yoo: Last week. I hope my mom is reading this!
Gruttadaro: Shit—listening to this album doesn’t count?
5. What will be the most quoted line from Jesus Is King on Twitter?
Knibbs: Probably that dumb Chik-fil-A bullshit.
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