After much anticipation and a month-long delay, Kanye West returns with his long-awaited ninth studio album Jesus Is King. The gospel-inspired project, which follows last summer’s ye, was first announced by Kim Kardashian in August.
The final version includes 11 tracks with religious-themed titles such as “Selah,” “Follow God,” and “Jesus Is Lord.” The father of four promotes family values while name-checking Chick-fil-A on “Closed on Sunday,” and reunites Clipse brothers Pusha-T and No Malice on the Kenny G-assisted “Use the Gospel.” Ty Dolla $ign lends his vocals to “Water,” which Kanye debuted at Coachella in April, while other contributors include Pi’erre Bourne, Bongo ByTheWay, and Fred Hammond.
Along with the album, his film of the same name arrives in IMAX theaters worldwide today. Shot over the summer, Jesus Is King brings Kanye’s famed Sunday Service to life in the Roden Crater, James Turrell’s installation in Arizona’s Painted Desert.
In advance of the album’s release, Kanye hosted Sunday Service sessions in Chicago, Wyoming, Atlanta, Detroit, New York, and Jamaica. On Wednesday night, he celebrated with a free event at the Forum in Los Angeles, where he played the album in its entirety and screened the film.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1, the 42-year-old rapper opened up about his spiritual journey. “This is such a win for the kingdom, for Kanye to come back home, going from ‘Jesus Walks’ to ‘I Love It,’” he said. “I had to just give it all up to God.”
He has already announced the follow-up, Jesus Is Born, which is set for release on Christmas Day.