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Kanye West opened up about the religious inspiration behind his album Jesus Is King when he stopped by Real 92.3 LA on Friday.
The album was originally planned to come out in September, before the release date changed to Oct. 25. The change in plans sparked controversy among fans, many of whom took to social media to complain about the delayed release, and again later to complain when the expected drop of “midnight” was pushed back again.
West’s interview with the radio station Friday mostly focused on his newfound devotion to the Christian faith. “I love Jesus Christ. I love Christianity,” he said.
The rapper said that he was inspired to create his Sunday services and Jesus Is King after he let “Jesus take the wheel” following his “breakdown,” referencing his bipolar diagnosis and public backlash for his support of President Trump. He continued, “I didn’t even know what it meant to be saved.”
West also said he would rather follow Christ than cultural norms. “Who designed the culture? What does it mean to do it for the culture? That’s why I do it for Christ,” he said.
He also took a stand for what he sees as the country taking religion out of everyday life, and attributes this to “woke” culture. “Who told you that my career would be over? The same people who are telling you that you can’t have a right to say who you would vote for, those same people will be soon to take Jesus out of school. Those people will be soon to remove Jesus, period, from America, which is the Bible Belt,” he said. “Everybody thinks they’re so woke, but they’re following the rules of what woke’s supposed to be. Hip-hop ain’t ever been about following rules. It been about doing what you feel.”
“I’ve been canceled,” he added later. “I’ve been canceled before they had cancel culture. I was canceled before they had the term.”
Though, he added, he does care about how people view him and his new direction in music. “I am praying that people can see that Jesus won the victory. When I was making raps and service to the devil talking about, ‘You a ho, I love and all this.’ I was in debt. Now that I’m at service to Christ, God is showing off. He’s showing off on my life. He’s showing off on my family,” he said.
The rapper also spoke about the album when he stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday. When asked if he is now a Christian artist, he responded, “I’m just a Christian everything.”
West told Kimmel that the album would drop at midnight during his appearance on the ABC late-night show, though it was not officially available to fans until hours later on Friday. He added that he uses “Christian innovation” in his music to spread God’s messages and said that he now “works for God.”
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