Mariah Lindsey, Staff Writer
Diet-gospel fans rejoice, Kanye West’s long-awaited “Jesus is King” album is finally here. The rapper, fashion mogul and father of four has released his first album since converting to Christianity and having been “born again.”
It’s no secret that Kanye has been controversial for the past few years. His antics and outspoken nature have granted him a fierce criticism in the media. Anyone who has followed pop culture in the slightest has likely heard of Kanye’s decade-long feud with singer Taylor Swift, or his unapologetic accusation that former President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, or his public declaration at the 2015 MTV VMAs that he will be running for president in 2024, among many other events.
And now, Mr. West seems to have settled into a fierce support for President Donald Trump and the entire “Make American Great Again” mantra our nation’s leader has spun throughout his campaign. West’s relationship with the 45th president of the United States has been rather strange. In the debut of his “Famous” music video from his 2016 “Life of Pablo” album, West depicted a nude wax figure of Trump, Taylor Swift, himself and his wife Kim Kardashian-West, among other celebrities.
Not long after the rapper began to voice high praise of the president and his policies. Eventually, West and Trump would become heavily acquainted in the next couple of years, with private meetings to discuss “social justice reform” and West proudly doting the infamous red MAGA hat attributed to the heaviest of Trump supporters. Even Kim Kardashian seemed to have joined the wave of this reform in her efforts to become a certified lawyer. Her donations and correspondence with Trump helped free multiple disenfranchised black people from prison, which is admittedly a noteworthy gesture.
And now, circa 2019, Kanye appears to have achieved his vision of being a full-on spiritually “in-tune” Christian Trump-supporter. Videos of his weekly Sunday service videos of white-robed singers in identical clothing and hairstyles remixing secular songs with a gospel flair has been infiltrating social media for about a year now. Almost a complete turn-around from his “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” days, West now seems to voice the same rhetoric of many Republican, Christian evangelicals.
In the wake of a rather messy and emotional 2018 TMZ interview in which the rapper assessed that 400 years of slavery was a “choice” for black people, West has seemingly doubled down on his words. He’s since decided to attack “cancel culture” and Black Twitter for discouraging freethinking, rather than hold himself accountable for the pure historical fiction of his statements. The amount of disrespect such a statement is to every victim of American chattel slavery is obvious, but of course, the supporters of his rebrand take no interest in his repeated narcissistic and tone-deaf behavior. This aligns perfectly with those Christian supporters of President Trump who are no stranger to deceit, racism, misogyny, and infinitely any other thing that fails to align with traditional Christian values.
I am not in the business of policing anyone’s spiritual journey. Kanye West could very well be genuine in his zeal to pursue Christ and the traditional Christian faith. It is understandable to see an outpouring of support for a mainstream artist visibly promoting God, especially as Christianity is the most widely represented religion in the United States. However, it is forever disappointing to see what behavior is excused at the extent of money, fame, and charisma. It is perplexing as well to see how quickly someone can become valuable as soon as they appeal to someone’s likeness—in this case Mr. West and his religious pursuits.