Kanye dropped his highly anticipated album Jesus Is King to mixed reviews. Half of my group chats really liked his album and the other half, including myself, was a bit disappointed. Personally, I was looking for Jesus Walks meets Ultralight Beam. I wanted a
modern secular gospel album with some really dope beats and productions, driven by the poetry of someone who was trying to be everything he knew he could and should be, yet struggled with the trappings of life.
So for me, my review was for the music and the music only. For others, the conversation became wrapped around the differing opinions of who should be the voice of spirituality. Was Kanye genuine, authentic and “Christian” enough to become the face of religion, God and faith?
I don’t know the answer to that and I don’t really care. What I do know is that I heard twenty-something and thirty-something year old f*ck boys bumping Jesus Is King and sharing Insta Stories about their faith. And I thought that was worth something, whether Kanye is pure or not.
That leads me to the question – who is pure? I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend recently, the son of a preacher, who shared that most of the preachers he’s met over his life were not authentic or living a holy life.
I do struggle with that. I don’t want to be led by a pastor who is preaching one life but living another. I’m really big on character. But Kanye West is not a preacher. He is an entertainer who is using his talents to share a message that he has always shared, just on a larger scale.
What I find more interesting is that, the f*ck boys, the hot girls, my group chats and myself included are clearly thirsty and yearning for something more. A lot of us make more money than our parents did at our age, we have nice cars and cribs, we have ideal social lives with cool friends, we travel and eat organic dishes that are served from farm to table paired with exotic cocktails. We have everything. Right?
With everything that we have, most of the people I know are missing something or are in search of something. Many are distracted by the thought that their happiness is at the newest happy hour or will come once they meet the woman or man of their dreams. Yet, it’s never any of those things. Or they are often just temporary gratifiers.
We are more depressed than ever. Many of us are suicidal, lonely and scared. Anxiety seems to be at an all time high. Yet we’re posing on the ‘gram like we’re living our dreams when in reality we’re crying silently for help, pleading to be seen or heard and protected. We’re liars, facades, fronting and fake. Why? For some reason, we’ve all bought into the notion that that’s how we should be or have to be.
We have to be great. We have to be ON. At all times. In public and sadly around the people we love and kind of trust.
We are struggling with generational curses. Some of us were taken advantage of as kids, abused and neglected, sexually assaulted or emotionally damaged. Some of us struggle with sexuality. Some of us are in so much debt we ignore it because the sight of it makes us loose our breathe. Some of us can’t be faithful to save our lives.
We just can’t admit that deep down we all know we’re all looking for something that connects us on a deeper level to something greater. Something that brings us peace. Something that fills that void.
I don’t know if we’ll ever all return to the churches our parents built or if we can find enough satisfaction watching Sara Jakes Roberts online. What I do believe is that, our parents understood the value of faith. It’s the glue that keeps it all together and keeps us sane in a world driven by greed, chaos and noise.
I’m not here to judge Kanye’s journey but I think its dope that he created something that has the “coolest” of the cool saying hallelujah, praising Jesus or at minimum, tapping into something that feels right. I’m not mad that Jesus is cool again. Not mad at all.