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New Music: Kanye West

By Matthew Herring, November 5 2019 —

Last year was a bad year for Kanye West. From his unrelenting Twitter presence to the messy release of the lackluster Ye, few days passed without Kanye’s name hogging the headlines. While West has always caused controversy, 2018 felt like a turning point from his previous relatively harmless arrogance. West had always been political, but when he announced his undivided support for Donald Trump over Twitter — despite admitting that he doesn’t fully understand his platform — it was concerning. West went from calling out politicians for their wrongdoings to playing the role of spokesperson.

On Jan. 1, 2019, West revealed that he would take a social media hiatus after disappointing fans by announcing multiple albums that would never see the light of day. Most notorious is Yandhi, which West promised to release on multiple occasions but missed the release date every time. It was hard to defend West throughout 2018 due to his sporadic social media use, so when his Twitter went silent, he reinstilled a glimmer of hope within questioning fans.

The nine months that West stayed off Twitter felt peaceful. There was no worry that your favourite artist was going to say something that was both shameful and laughable. It was easy to just enjoy his music. Even in this time of silence, West was still musically active, assembling his Sunday Service gospel choir to infuse traditional Christian prayer songs with elements of hip-hop. Though Kanye was never in the spotlight at these events, his passion for the music was enough to give longtime fans hope that he was back on his groove.

That hope didn’t last long. In late August, West’s silence was broke when his wife Kim Kardashian tweeted the announcement of a new album titled Jesus Is King with a Sept. 27 release date. Unsurprisingly, that day came and went without the promised album. However, interviews with West surfaced, focusing on his newly-rekindled faith. It felt eerily familiar as he indulged in rants about Trump and boasted about his 68 million dollar tax return — only now he used his religion to back up his nonsense.

In the past, West’s arrogant personality contributed to the quality of his music. But when Jesus Is King, was finally released a month late, there was nothing to defend. The music is vapid and every moment feels more dull than the last. The record isn’t worth talking about because West refuses to put in the effort to make an album that lives up to his legacy. He can do better.

West has never been a spectacular person in the past, but at least his music made it justifiable. Now, one of the greatest artists of all time is nothing more than the controversy that he creates, and that’s why Jesus is King is so disappointing.

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