Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. The rapper is known for always speaking his mind even when it will turn the whole world against him. This week, he’s making headlines again for giving fans a “deja vu” moment in terms of when he says he’s going to release an album, and then subsequently not releasing it and going quiet online.
During the last week of August, Kanye West took to Twitter through his wife’s, Kim Kardashian, account announcing the release of his next album Jesus Is King, which at the time he announced would be dropping in “one month on September 27th.” West even reiterated during one of his Sunday Service performances on September 22nd that the album was going to be dropping on September 27th at midnight…can you guess what happened at midnight on the 27th? Nothing.
Fans were disappointed, but not surprised, and instead expected West to drop the album the next day at his Sunday Service in Detroit, which was the first service to be held on a Friday, which made fans eager to see if that switch up meant a special announcement was coming; and they weren’t wrong. After the Sunday Service concluded, the Detroit Fox Arena, where the service was held, took to Twitter to announce “Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Experience” an event in which tickets would be completely free.
Choir members perform at Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella
According to Forbes Magazine’s covering of Detroit’s Sunday Service, “‘Jesus is King: A Kanye West Experience’ had three parts. First, a screening of a mini-doc that detailed West’s foray into architecture. Second, a longer, documentary of Kanye and his Sunday Service choir, The Samples, performing in James Turrell’s Roden Crater (a film that’s received comparisons to Stanley Kubrick). And third: the album.”
Following the Detroit event, fans who attended could only tweet about the music they experienced, as no phones were allowed in the venue during to avoid any leaks. The general consensus from fans was that the album sounded good, but definitely unfinished. A conclusion that had the millions of fans who didn’t attend confused, but again not shocked, since the album was supposed to be released already. As fans grew more and more impatient, Kim Kardashian took to her Instagram story to offer some comfort.
Kim posted to her Instagram story: “Kanye’s doing a listening session in Chicago tomorrow, then NYC Sunday. He’s dropping the album Sunday. Just a few final tweaks to the mixes.”
During the weekend West performed two other Sunday Services in Chicago and New York City and both events were carbon copies of the Detroit event. A listening party followed by the announcement of the Kanye West Experience. After all the events and announcements, there still wasn’t an album, and it was Monday. Ever since there has been no word on the album from Kanye, Kim, or anyone on Kanye’s team.
Kanye West speaks during Sunday Service in New York on September 29
The only new information given was from TMZ, that quoted an unnamed source: “…the album is complete, but Ye keeps tweaking it. Every time he listens, there’s something he wants to change. We’re now told there’s no release date anymore … it’s truly TBD.”
Jesus Is King is set to be a gospel album, which isn’t a shock to fans since the Sunday Services that West has been involved with has been widely popular throughout the country. West has even already dropped merchandise for the album, between that and already hosting multiple listening parties, fans are just overall confused as to why it hasn’t dropped yet. They aren’t shocked though, as West pulled the same type of stunt a year ago with his album Yandhi. In September 2018, West tweeted the announcement of the Yandhi project which was set to be released September 29th, sound familiar? When that day came around West performed on Saturday Night Live, and afterwards, complete silence.
Yet again, Kim took to Twitter announcing the album would be released on Black Friday, but a few days before that new deadline West told fans, “After performing again [at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival], I realize the new album I’ve been working on isn’t ready yet” and it was never discussed again. To this day fans still don’t know what happened to that project and if the tracks on that album had anything to do with the Jesus Is King record. Overall though, fans are left at the bottom of the barrel, scraping and waiting for any new music, but at this rate they wouldn’t be surprised if West just went ahead and announced another new project that would never see the light of day.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.