Kayne West’s “Jesus Is King” and the Art of the Coordinated Music Launch
By: Emily Menken
Kanye West released his latest album a few days ago. “Jesus Is King” has explicitly religious and undoubtedly catchy musical style and lyrics. The tone hearkens back to his hit song “Jesus Walks”, released fifteen years ago. Since then, Kanye has been through… a lot.
West teased the album with his Sunday Services program, hour-long concerts that rearranged rap and hip-hop into gospel music. Sunday Services made headlines throughout the year: from the monotone outfits to the celebrity guests, Kanye West created hype around his much-delayed ninth album. He even tried to copyright the term “sunday service” (but was denied).
Alongside the album came a 31-minute IMAX “cinematic experience”. The star? Kanye. The short film features a full gospel choir alongside Mr. West performing 13 songs - some from the new album, some from his greatest hits. So far, the film has sold out in 17 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto. Over the weekend, the short “collected $1.03 million globally”.
Although critical reception to the album is lukewarm, the in-tandem release of the album and film is likely geared toward die-hard Kanye fans.