Jesus Christ and F Bombs
In 2004, we saw a new guy emerge in the hip-hop scene, where he dropped a song entitled “Jesus Walks.” It caused a lot of confusion; how can a guy who drops a bunch of f-bombs be talking about Jesus Christ walking with him? Lest we forget, any literate reading of the Bible shows us Jesus walked with such folks. We also got head nodders like “Gold Digger” and the Daft Punk remix in “Stronger.”
One can only imagine what that might mean for the world.
During this time, however, we also get meme-like moments such as interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during the MTV Music Awards to hype up Beyonce, much to her chagrin. Don’t forget that during a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina, Kanye literally put George W. Bush on blast by saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” with the straightest of faces, and to the horror of Mike Myers, which was both horrifyingly hilarious and horrifyingly out of place.
Outside the Music
West is known as an icon who shifts the culture. “Stronger” saw a revamping of love for Daft Punk, who was a powerhouse of musical genre blasting in the 90s. Thanks to West, Daft Punk brought the French electro-pop duo blast back into the limelight from niche group to mainstream. Along with music, West became known for his shoe game by releasing his line known as Yeezy.
First Yeezys were with Nike, and then they took off with Adidas and launched a new wave of sneakerheads. They bought Yeezys and brought about a new revolution of hypebeast sneaker culture like none other! Yeezy 350s V1 and V2, Yeezy 500, Yeezy Boosts, Yeezy 700 and on and on they go, from retro’d to new colorways, silhouette experiments and materials, all have appeared on the market and shifted how people were thinking about him in terms of a businessman as well as a hip hop icon!
Outside the Plantation
Enter 2018, the era of Trump and another revolution. This, however, needs to start with Candace Owens and her BLEXIT movement. Owens basically challenged all of Black America to begin thinking less with their emotions and more with the facts of the matter. “What have Democrats done for you in the last 70 years?” she posits.
Every single Democrat policy has been more of a detriment to the black community at large, yet because some honey tongued politician with a “D” next to their name offers some free stuff every four years, all of a sudden the black community is alright with it? Owens understands and expressed extreme frustration with it. Via Turning Point USA and her Red Pill Black days, she has awakened far more black people in America regarding the DNC.
Kanye tweeted out that he likes how she thinks and established himself as a free thinker. He then donned the red MAGA hat and even went on Saturday Night Live with it, ignoring his publicists’ plea as well as the producers of the show not to wear it . This all stirred the Leftist hornet’s nest to an unbridled anger that caused the culture to literally turn the tide from acceptance to ostracization.
Cracking the Whip
TMZ style sites, as well as activist journos, all began belittling Kanye West for his thoughts, much like they did Chance the Rapper, another Chicago native indie rapper, who tweeted “Black people don’t have to vote Democrat,” before he was shamed and pulled it back. People started hating on West and ignoring the guy, calling him crazy and unhinged. But it did not stop West. He went on to talk with President Trump about prison reform with his wife, the very infamous Kim Kardashian. It spoke volumes because Trump actually did something about prison reform.
It was far more than what other celebrity activists have done. John Legend did nothing during his visit with Obama, and yet Don Lemon and other Leftist activists on his failing news show bash Kim Kardashian about prison reform. They’re actually asking why celebrities are going to Trump about issues like this. Yet it was West who did more with Trump, and Trump listened.
Again, as Owens says, if Trump is a racist, then he is doing a poor job of being a racist because a racist would not work with a black hip-hop artist on anything. Yet here we are, with prison reform drawn up on a Federal level. This is definitely a man that will not think along party lines or any lines. He thinks for himself, and we see that as he even went and hugged the President! Thankfully, the Internet has allowed us to see the full Kanye West/Donald Trump interaction. For proof that Ye loves Trump, fast forward to the timestamp of 23:23 and smile.
Outside, Near the Gates of Heaven
Now with all of this cultural revolution, it seems that Kanye had somewhat of a spiritual revolution himself. We don’t know when, we don’t know why, we don’t know how; all we know is the evidence found in many of his concurrent interviews as well as a new record that went number 1 on all streaming services from Apple Music to Spotify. “Jesus is King” took hold of all the charts after it was announced that the man who called himself Yeezus (much to the chagrin of Evangelicals all over) has had a shift of heart.
He announced earlier in October that he will be doing only Gospel music, and then this new record drops on 10/25/2019. The number of downloads and purchases went insane. Social media accounts everywhere started gracing their stories and pictures with the record cover. Granted, people who never expressed any interest in Kanye are all bandwagoning for sure, some of them from the church world who didn’t like the notion of Kanye saying, “I am a God!”
Kanye West: Prodigal Son
Throughout this record, there are more theological presuppositions that line up with historic Christian thought. Things like “being saved by grace,” “fear of God,” “Selah,” “Jesus is Lord,” and other very clear cut Biblical references that have been accepted by and large by the Christian community. Most historic and exegetical theologians would agree that Kanye West’s very clear cut rhetoric about grace and mercy and love and fear of God only comes out of the mouth of a person who has had a genuine experience with God. So many are finding this record to be the statement of a prodigal finally come home.
If you do not know that story, it is essentially where Jesus tells the story of a boy who wouldn’t wait for his father’s death; he asked for his inheritance and went off and wasted it all. The boy in tatters comes back home and finds himself in his father’s embrace and love, and was thrown a celebration because of his return home.
A beautiful tale of redemption, humility, forgiveness, and the heart of this God whom culture has done so much to demean out of ignorance, and it is found in the Bible that is hated by so many. Kanye is simply one of those prodigals, and this record, as well as his rhetorical shift, is getting many to wake up and consider. So many others embrace the rapper and are excited about his journey as a Christian.
Spirit Filled Celebrities
The spiritual shift of Kanye West is an amazing one, and much the same as how Justin Bieber all of a sudden halted his “Purpose” tour and disappeared, only to pop back into the limelight to marry Hailey Rhode. Selena Gomez hasn’t done much career-wise, but is staunch about her Christian faith in interviews. In the last few years, we have seen fashion designer Jerry Lorenzo create the “Fear of God” clothing line and see it take off, and listen to the creator attribute this success to his relationship with Christ.
From Steph Curry to Jerry Lorenzo to Justin Bieber (and now Kanye West joining the ranks of celebrities who have an unapologetic connection to the Christian faith), with celebrity pastors who have these connections with them (like Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz, churchome pastor Judah Smith, Vous Church pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr, Zoe Church pastor Chad Veach), now with Kanye, Christian culture is becoming a new force the world will have to reckon with. Some are saying that because of Kanye, Christian pop will definitely be more on the forefront of culture at large. One can only imagine what that might mean for the world.
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