Kanye West: 5 things to expect from new album 'Jesus is King'

Proposed release dates have been and gone. There was YANDHI and then there wasn't. So what is actually dropping later this month?

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 21st Oct 2019

The timeline of Kanye West's activity in the follow-up to his last album, Ye, has been typically complicated, with fluctuation between the release of two separate albums, YANDHI and Jesus Is King. Naturally this has resulted - probably intentionally - in maximum publicity, with fans debating, postulating and yearning for any kind of new release

There has been huge speculation on the readiness of both records, fuelled by social media and Kanye himself, his wife Kim and a string of collaborators. 

The first glimpse we got of new music from the Chicago rapper came way back in September 2018, when Yeezy posted the artwork for YANDHI with a date of '9 29 18'. But despite massive promotion, the YANDHI release date came and went with nothing to show for it. Delays continued thought out 2018, with Kanye eventually conceding that he had returned to the studio to make more changes to the album.

Then 2019 came and Ye's attention turned to something different altogether. The Sunday Service orchestrations saw the rapper deliver gospel-inspired performances of his old tunes, plus some YANDHI tracks too. By the second half of 2019 the focus turned to bringing out an accompanying album, Jesus Is King; confirmed when wife Kim tweeted a track-list for the record, plus a release date of September 27th. 

Once again, the date came and went, but now the rapper has revealed, during an event at The George Washington University on October 12th, that Jesus is King will land on October 25th.

So what do we know about Kanye West's new album Jesus is King? Below we've try, where possible, to shed some light on the release. Of course, things could change all over again. That would be so Kanye.

1. It'll take inspiration from the Sunday Service sessions

Throughout the past year Kanye has taken his Sunday Service across the U.S. to exhibit special performances of some of his best loved tunes, with the addition of traditional gospel choirs (the rapper giving a much more in depth look into his relationship with religion). The pinnacle of the Sunday Service performances thus far came at Coachella 2019 on Easter weekend, with Kanye delivering an exceptional show to a huge crowd. (At one point this year Kanye also reportedly declared that he will only be producing gospel music from now on.)

2. It won't feature music that was set to appear on YANDHI

Tracks from Kanye's other heavily touted release, YANDHI, recently appeared on iTunes under Kanye West’s name. But instead of the full album, West has seemingly released them as ringtones in the iTunes library. Nine tracks were available in 26-second snippets, but didn't match with the same track-listing for Jesus Is King (tweeted by Kim K earlier this year), which means that there should be yet more unreleased Kanye music to come (maybe).

3. Kanye has been tweaking it right up until the point of release

Jesus is King's release has been delayed over and over again, with the rapper claiming he's "making it better for y'all". This shouldn't surprise though, with the mercurial producer often changing his albums even after they've come out. If you haven't listened to 'Wolves' from The Life Of Pablo lately, then you may notice some notable changes.

When the original Jesus is King release date came and went, Kim tweeted another track list for the album with the caption "have faith" - with some alterations from the original track list she tweeted a month before - are you keeping up?

4. It will come accompanied with a movie

Kanye has revealed, amongst all the back and forth, that Jesus is King will arrive not only in audio form, but as an IMAX feature too with a bold movie poster emblazoned with the words 'Jesus is King A Kanye West Film'. The film is set for a release date of October 25th. The documentary will follow West and a host of musicians as they take Sunday Service to a number of U.S cities, plus, of course, the Coachella performance. Watch the newly released trailer above.

5. Kenny G will (maybe) make a guest appearance

The musician performed at The Kardashian West's mansion on Valentines day, in a room full of roses, and it seems that Kenny struck up such a good relationship with Kanye that he has now been welcomed onto the record, telling GQ Magazine:

"It was a great vibe doing that performance in their house. After that, he asked me if I want to come over to see his studio. So I said, ‘Cool’. So I went with him. And he started playing me some tracks. And as he was playing the tracks, I did not hesitate to say what I thought about the tracks. And I suggested on a particular track, ‘You know, I think if my saxophone was on there it would sound really good’. And he said, ‘Cool’. And he pulled out the microphone, and I started playing on it.”