West has certainly received a fair amount of backlash for his hard turn toward spiritual music. But West has also received a groundswell of support— particularly from gospel artists themselves. In January , West began his Sunday Service performance series in Calabasas, California, with the choir group The Samples and other collaborators performing a combination of hymns and secular pop songs rewritten with Christian themes. Is Christ really at the center of this gathering? Dillard told TIME.
“It has to reach the young people”
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me, where shall I go? Such was the power of the gospel. It is ostensibly a favorite of Kanye West , who sampled Pastor T. As West sells it, figuratively and literally , Jesus Is King is a repudiation of his past sin, an absolution, a blank slate from which to spread the word of a very specific God, one whose blessings rain down on a cul-de-sac in Calabasas and a ranch in Jackson Hole.
“Is Christ really at the center?”
The album follows a Christian theme, with West describing it as "an expression of the gospel. West began recording the album in August , originally announcing it as Yandhi. The album missed two initial release dates in September and November under the original title, before being delayed indefinitely. West had formed his gospel group the Sunday Service Choir in January , performing gospel songs and covers of songs from West's discography. The song " Water " was performed live prior to release by the group. In August , Yandhi was reannounced as Jesus Is King , but it missed two planned release dates for late September under the new title. The final release of Jesus Is King was simultaneous with that of a concert film of the same name , which included a number of the tracks as part of the soundtrack. The album received mixed reviews from music critics, with a number of them drawing comparisons between it and West's previous solo album Ye.
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