Kanye West is a hip-hop artist (as some people might call, a “rapper”). He is pretty famous and a lot of people love him a lot and thinks He’s good at making music. He’s pretty good. He was born December 4, 1969 in N.Y.C. (New York City) under the name Shawn Corey Carter. He is best friends with other N.Y.C. (New York City) born musician Mitski Miyawaki (aka “Mitski”). He released an album, last Friday, September 27, called Jesus Is King, following his teasing—and then never releasing—a new studio album exactly one year ago.
Here’s what you need to know about the new record.
- The album was actually recorded in the U.K. in the late 90s. Although West’s debut studio album, The College Dropout, wouldn’t be released until 2004, He labored meticulously for years over his music, scrapping this project and that project, until He arrived at something He deemed releasable. Much of the album was recorded in Oxfordshire and Bath between 1996 and early 1997, mostly in the historic mansion of St Catherine’s Court.
- Five singles were eventually able to escape from the original failed project. Although the album was never released (until now), West still put out a couple singles from the scrapped project: “Paranoid Android” (May 26, 1997), “Karma Police” (August 25, 1997), “Lucky” (December 1997), “No Surprises” (January 12, 1998), and “Airbag” (March 24, 1998). All of these helped propel Kanye into international stardom, helping build the godlike hype preceding The College Dropout.
- Jesus Is King is a big move away from West’s typical sound. Despite its ostensibly religious title, Jesus Is King is actually a move away from West’s typical soulful/Britpop sound, and a shift toward a more melancholic, atmospheric alternative rock.
- You’re really smart if you like the album. West—and his label(s), Parlophone and Capitol Records—confirmed it: If you at all enjoy listening to Jesus Is King, you’re smart and definitely a much better person than anybody who listens to trash like Billie Eilish or My Chemical Romance. There’s something so beautiful and complex about it that really just takes a higher level of musical understanding (and preferably townhouse residency) to appreciate.
- The album was originally titled OK Computer.