Yeezy season approaching — that is if Kanye West, does in fact release his anticipated Jesus Is King album on Friday (Sept. 27) as planned. According to Variety, Kanye is no longer expected to drop his project this week.
It's been a long road for West since the arrival of his critically underwhelming ye album last summer. He was slated to return with the mythical Yandhi almost a year ago to the day, which was repeatedly delayed and looks to have now been perhaps scrapped for good, amid all of the Internet leaks.
For much of 2019, West's Sunday Service has been his passion project, seeing the rapper put on an array of gospel performances with a choir across the country. The holy sessions have taken place in California, on his newly purchased estate in Wyoming, back home in Chicago, Ohio, and even at Coachella on Easter Sunday this year. According to @MrHanon on Instagram, West is bringing Sunday Service to Detroit on Friday (Sept. 27) to celebrate the release of his album.
Back in August, Kim Kardashian teased a track list and a release date for Jesus Is King in a post to Twitter, which sent the West Stans into an immediate frenzy. In the days leading up to the project's supposed release, Kanye has made mention of his ninth studio LP, but has failed to elaborate further on the effort, leaving much to be decided come Friday (Sept. 27).
Until then, here is everything we know about Jesus Is King.
If the track order given by Kim Kardashian — which was later confirmed by Kanye in a repost to his website — was to come to fruition, Jesus Is King will be kept at a concise 12 tracks. West has practiced minimalism on his several projects this decade, as Yeezus boasted 10 songs and 2018's ye and Kid Cudi collab Kids See Ghosts both followed with just seven cuts. JIK looks to take on a spiritual motif, with song titles such as "Baptized," "God Is," "Selah" (which signifies a change in musical direction in the bible), "Sunday," and "Sweet Jesus."
Previously Performed Sunday Service Songs "Water" & "Garden" Will be on the Album:
"Water" was initially premiered during Sunday Service at Coachella back in April of this year. The psychedelic tune finds Kanye on the track joined by Ant Clemons, who has worked his way from relative unknown to an integral part of West's inner circle, and the versatile Ty Dolla $ign, both of who made significant contributions to ye.
The 42-year-old has often referred to wanting himself to be more like water, possibly in a purer sense. “We are water/ Clean us like the rain in spring/ Take the chlorine out of conversation," he sings.
Making its debut at Sunday Service in March, the heavenly "Garden" blends thunderous vocals from the gospel choir with singing courtesy of Clemons. Some may have labeled the soulful tune under "We'll Find a Way" after it leaked and spread on the Internet months later.
In addition to Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons, it remains to be seen who West, the mastermind behind the art of collaboration, will enlist to elevate his latest genre-blending effort. If there are any leftovers from the Yandhi era, West reportedly had collaborations in the can with 6ix9ine, XXXTentacion, and Migos. At the top of 2019, TMZ also reported that Kanye was working on a new project in Miami with Timbaland, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Tee Grizzley and YNW Melly.
The Return of Rick Rubinthe Reducer:
While most would look at Rick Rubin as a producer, the Def Jam co-founder refers to himself as a "reducer." Rubin helped West beat the buzzer and bring a stripped-down version of Yeezus across the finish line with no time to spare in 2013. Rubin was spotted with Kanye once again after Sunday Service in Wyoming over the weekend (Sept. 22). It seems West may be looking to solicit Rick's masterful ear for a test run before revealing the project to the masses.
With Sunday Service being his main focus for much of the year, West is clearly a man that's reconnected with his faith in some fashion. Speaking on Queen Radio in July, Nicki Minaj said that Kanye told her he's a born-again Christian. "I just was with Kanye, and he told me he’s a born-again Christian now. Like my first instinct was, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ because I could see there’s a peace that he has now that just surpasses everything," she explained.
Chance The Rapper echoed that sentiment during a recent appearance on Kimmel, where Jimmy said Kanye was acting as Chance's spiritual advisor. "He's devoted right now. He's well-versed in the bible at this point," the 26-year-old said. "The Sunday Service and the album that comes out next week — I feel like I'm on Kanye's press run right now. He's talking about what I believe in, and it's that Jesus is King. He's spreading the good news."
Finding Solace in Wyoming:
When you're a celebrity of Kanye's ilk, and now a father of four, finding quiet time is tough to come by. In the past, West has fled to Hawaii for a creative safe haven, which has led to some of the best work of his career. Last year, he seemed to discover solace in the greener pastures of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
After tapping into newfound inspiration to craft five seven-track albums in 2018, West reportedly purchased a chunk of land on the Monster Lake Ranch for himself just outside Cody, Wyoming earlier this summer. Between holding Sunday Service there last weekend, having former manager John Monopoly and Rick Rubin join him, and a post from rapper-producer Pie'rre Bourne confirming he's in Cody this week, it seems as if West is holed up rushing to complete Jesus Is King before time runs out.