Life

Kanye and Religion: Why Kanye Can Be Good, but Not THAT Good.

Earlier today, Kim Kardashian-West announced the name of her baby boy: Saint West. Not too surprising, however, considering how the family has a penchant for shock, awe, and religious labels. This is just another foul against the religious the community…or is it?

We all know Kanye’s history with our (or your) lord and savior, Jesus Christ. In 2013, Kanye released his sixth album entitled Yeezus (basically looks like a bootleg that was sold out of Hustle Man’s car trunk).

yeezus-cvr

When asked about the decision to name his album Yeezus, Kanye reponded:

“Simply put, West was my slave name and Yeezus is my God name”.

Completely understandable. Most of us (black people) who are self aware have an itching desire to shed our slave names, or find our ancestral roots and embrace what was originally ours before we were forced into servitude. But Kanye didn’t do that. What he did was surpass what Malcolm X , formerly Malcolm Little, did and take a seat next to God. I understand how Kanye feels about his craft. His music uplifts and transcends and, consequentially, he has been basking in the divinity and holiness that his fans (and talent) have bestowed upon him. I can easily recite 70% of his freshman album, College Dropout. I was reading his scripture and embracing all of it. The last verse of track 2 on his debut album is one of the first songs, (besides Tupac’s Keep Your Head Up), that I understood. It was deeper than just words over a dope beat.

“They trying to cut our lights out like we don’t live here
Look what was handed us
Fathers abandoned us
When we get them hammers, go on call the ambulance
Sometimes I feel no one in this world understands us
But we don’t care what people say
My niggas”

This was our experience in the neighborhood I grew up in, and here was this guy saying what I felt. What we all felt. I didn’t get that same relative connection from the Bible. By that time I had already lost interest in building a connection with Jesus, but I still went to church if invited.This doesn’t mean I considered Kanye a replacement for Jesus, nor will I personally refer to him as a God, because “GOD” just isn’t a pillar in my life at the moment. I always keep an open mind, though. I did enjoy his music, and I wrote some of his lyrics on my sneakers, and I found a fleeting, flashing, relationship with jesus through track 7, Jesus Walks, and also learned how to make it through a tough and demanding work day with track 6, Spaceship. This entire album shaped my teenage and adult years, in a way that the bible never has.

TwitterUserRachelDubs

How many of you can recite your favorite lyrics from your favorite albums more than you can recite the bible? How many of you would pass up a sunday of praying and stomping to see a free concert of your favorite artist? How many of you have been moved to tears, or to change something in your life, or to drop a bad habit because someone in your headphones suggested that you do so? Music, in my opinion, can be considered a religion. Lyrics as scripture. Influence and inspiration as holiness. Concerts as congregations. So we have the assembly, shouldn’t there be a powerful figure we all gravitate towards?

Let me break down the issue in the public’s eye with Kanye referring to himself as a God.

We want people to be great, but not THAT great. We can refer to people as angels, or of being “angelic”, but hardly ever refer to them as a God, UNLESS we call them a rap/rock god. But that’s acceptable to do until they become self-aware and begin referring to themselves as such. Exclusively, in Kanye’s case.

God’s need followers, believers, faith, love, power over humans. Does Kanye not have power over his fans? Does he drop an album and people spend money listening to it over and over? Believing in his words, quoting and reciting them with undying faith and understanding? Do people not stand in line for his expensive shoes and clothing? Do we not constantly check up on him and his family, what his daughter is doing, what his wife is wearing? Kanye has every right to align himself with a God, because WE have given him that right. That power. He said so himself. “No one man should have all that power”. And if this is interfering with YOUR relationship with God, think of all the artists and people you follow, believe in, give your money to, recite their lyrics more than the bible, and reconsider your personal relationship with your lord and savoir.

You guys can share posts on Facebook of Kings and Queens of Egypt and say “Don’t forget where you come from my brotha’s and sista’s”, but Kanye can’t be a God? There isn’t just one God, in the world. If Kanye wants to be a musical, inspirational, talented, black God, instead of a vengeful wrathful one, then let him be. Think it’s blasphemous? Stop listening to his music.

As for him naming his son Saint, I know some of you have deliberately been named after people in the Bible.

(I still have issues with Kanye for other reasons, but that is in the post below).

Feel free to agree x disagree in the comments!

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