Kanye’s new album, Jesus Is King, has been out for some time now. I wanted to time this article right. I didn’t want to publish this when the album had just dropped, and I didn’t want to wait too long to where the album was completely out of sight out of mind for a lot of people.
One thing I have to establish is that Kanye West is not joking. It’s clear from his actions and his words that something has changed inside of him. This is not an elaborate con to gain fame. Kanye doesn’t need more fame. This is real. When asked what Kanye would say to people who doubt the legitimacy of his new found faith, he said:
“I’d say when you go to sleep, would you agree that you’re asleep? And that when you wake up would you agree that you’re awake? Would you agree that those are two different states? People who don’t believe are the walking dead. They are asleep and this is the awakening.”
I find it strange that I even feel the need to defend Kanye’s faith. Christian’s shouldn’t be questioning someone who is proclaiming their new found faith. It’s just weird and wrong to do.
The topic of this article is about the impact of Kanye’s decision to follow Jesus. When one of the most popular, innovative artists makes a decision this public and heartfelt, there’s going to be an effect on the culture.
There are many people who look up to Kanye. Whether you like it or not, Kanye exudes what being “cool” is. He designs a shoe and people line up to buy them and they resell for twelve times their original price. Only Kanye could do that. Safe to say that whatever Kanye does, it has implications.
When Kanye released Jesus Is King, I couldn’t help but think what the consequences of it would be. The rap culture is one of profanity, violence, sexual immorality, and general illicit behavior. For a superstar of that culture to do a complete 180 degree turn from it is amazing. Those people who have looked up to Kanye are either directly or subliminally being told that following Jesus is “cool”. To me, that’s a huge deal.
How Culture Will Respond
While it’s very early to actually know how Kanye’s faith will change the culture, I can speculate. I think within the next several years, we’ll see an increased normalcy around celebrities sharing their faith. Not only does that affect celebrities, but the general public takes notice. And that means something.
If Kanye stays on this path, he’s going to change how culture sees Christianity. It won’t be the outdated religion of the past anymore. It will be something new, something appealing to younger people.