Kanye’s New Album ‘Jesus Is King’ Tears the Nation Asunder

People have a lot of feelings about the new record
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Kanye West’s long-anticipated and long-delayed gospel-rap album, Jesus is King, finally dropped today, and it’s already drawing the kind of fevered controversy the complicated pop star seems to crave.

Kanye drew skepticism last month when he said that, from now on, he’ll only be recording gospel music, with some speculating that this was a calculated, cynical move to ingratiate himself back into the black community after stumping for Trump and saying, in so many words, that slavery was a choice.

As Esau McCaulley notes in The Washington Post, many people “are suspicious that West turned to Christianity only when his public embrace of President Trump alienated his base audience. They suggest that he is taking advantage of the fact that the church will forgive almost anyone. They claim that West is a part of a long line of people who use the black church for their benefit and leave when it no longer suits them.”

West has been growing his fame—and raking in a fortune—with his Megachurch-like “Sunday Service” events, complete with gospel, celebs, and plenty of highly-priced merch, since he first opened it to the public at Coachella last Easter.

But what about the music?

The Hollywood Reporter calls it “slapdash, tiresome and vacuously provocative—the work of an artist in a major creative crisis.”

Folks at the Ringer noted, “John 11:35—Jesus wept,” and, “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!”

Obviously, Twitter is at war over the album.

“Closed on Sunday,” Kanye’s ode to gay-hating purveyor of overly salted poultry, Chick-Fil-A, is getting special meme attention, as Complex points out.

Of course, this is all just fuel for Kanye. Provided he has no meltdowns, tantrums, emergency exhaustion retreats, technical difficulties, or debilitating messianic delusions, Yeezy says the Jesus is King tour—his first in three years—will start “right away.”