In the grand tradition of Prince, Kayne West has found religion. And sworn off secular music forever.
He is the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
He’s a musical genius: A larger-than-life entertainer. Love him or hate him, the man is an artistic talent of the highest order.
He is lambasted on Saturday Night Live, lampooned in a skit on the phone with SNL enemy number one, Donald Trump. But fewer and fewer people are watching Saturday Night Live anyway, so West probably doesn’t care.
Fewer people are tuning in to watch wealthy celebrities give each other fancy awards at awards shows, too.
Which has to be good, at least according to Kayne West. He told us all to stop watching that fake stuff years ago; right about the time he snatched the microphone out of the hand of a visibly startled young Taylor Swift to tell the world that the Grammy’s were fake and racist and rigged.
He didn’t get a lot of love at the time over the incident. Any incident after which a celebrity must publicly be seen to enter rehab in order to be forgiven isn’t necessarily a good one.
But time always tells, and time has told; Kanye was absolutely right about the Grammys and every other bourgeois celebrity awards show. The heyday of the awards-show is likely long over.
But anyone thinking Kayne West a bellwether changed their minds right around the time West appeared with President Trump sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat.
After this incident, Kayne West had to claim a complete mental breakdown in order to be allowed to re-enter social life. Again, not a sign of a successful social gambit.
Still, African-American unemployment under President Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been terrible. Quite the contrary. And Kayne West, and his wife Kim Kardashian West, parlayed that invitation to the White House into the first successful criminal justice reform in decades.
People have been released from prison due- in part- to their efforts. Including Cytonia Brown, who was tried as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for killing the man who bought her for sex when she was only 16.
Brown’s sentence was commuted in 2019 and she was released after serving 15-years for murder.
In time, it is possible that even some on the left might look back at the activist work done by the Wests, and their cooperation with Donald Trump, and admit Kanye’s MAGA hat might have been a stroke of genius.
Hey, it could happen.
Kayne West’s newest project is, let’s just say, even more unlikely.
Kanye’s newest album, titled “Jesus is King” is scheduled to be released… sometime. When exactly is unclear. West has delayed the release and fans are even now anxiously awaiting the new release date, which has not been given.
Fan and critics alike are also wondering as to the nature of the new album, with some insiders wondering if it will be a musical album in the traditional sense, or more of a musical documentary of the process of making “Jesus is King” and its role in West’s conversion.
Kanye’s conversion appears to be genuine and his friends report that he has been “born again” to the Christian faith.
“I can’t pinpoint a moment when it was like, Ye [West], has his- I don’t even know what to call it- his revelation, but he does often like, reference me when he talks about it, and I think that’s important. I think fellowship is the most important thing period, and if we can’t talk about faith, then it’s like, ‘Why are we even talking?’” — Chance the Rapper
West’s wife agrees.
“Kanye started to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family. He had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.” — Kim Kardashian-West
West shouldn’t worry about more traditional Christians rejecting his music or his movie, either; they said the same thing about Christian singer and songwriter Sandi Patty. Now, she’s cannon.
The sincere religious conversion of a cultural scion and major celebrity isn’t that surprising in our modern age. More information is available than ever before; man’s search for meaning remains the same.
Perhaps that can help explain a strange new phenomenon: After decades of falling numbers, a surprising number of millennials are taking vows and the number of new Catholic nuns has recently been increasing.
This phenomenon, West’s conversion, and Prince’s before him, demonstrates a certain longing in society and its members for something larger, a greater purpose, a higher power.
A longing for something that Robert Mueller on a re-purposed prayer candle and a good soul-cycle class just can’t deliver.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)