Sorry bae, it’s not that holiday you’ve heavily teased (don’t hate me), it’s Kanye’s ‘Jesus is Born’ Sunday Service album – aptly dropping on the 25th December.
In the space of six years, Kanye has somehow gone from rapping ‘I am a God’ to devoting his whole life to the one and only God (he’s now a born-again Christian). In a recent interview with Zane Lowe for Beats One – which I’ve kindly provided for you below – Kanye announced the new Christmas album ‘Jesus Is Born’. The record, scheduled to release just two months after his latest effort ‘Jesus is King’, will be a “Sunday Service album” according to the man himself. Here we decipher what that means and which tracks will be included.
To be able to decode what Kanye means by a Sunday Service album, I must first make sure that you’re all clued-up on what Sunday Service is.
Since the beginning of the year, rapper-turned-designer-turned-prophet Kanye West has dedicated each Sunday to rejoicing in the Lord. He’s formed a choir, predominantly made up of young people of colour, who gather to sing gospel versions of modern hits.
Whilst the music is chiefly comprised of Ye’s back catalogue, it’s not exclusive to it, as covers of numbers by the likes of No Doubt, Nirvana and Travis Scott have also been switched-up at the religious get-togethers.
The once-humble gatherings, originally set by Kim and Kanye’s Calabasas home, have only grown bigger and bigger, taking Ye and his choir to locations across the continent – from Kingston, Jamaica to Coachella. Every Sunday, Kanye fans are desperate to know how they can gain access to one of his Sunday Service concerts which attract a whole host of A-listers including Brad Pitt, Sia and Shia LaBeouf. And Kanye, if you’re reading this, I’m extremely interested in attending one myself too (hence this love letter).
Described by Kanye as a ‘Sunday Service’ album, Ye is hinting that his Christmas-day release will consist of gospel versions of his favourite tracks, and potentially a couple of new songs debuted at a Sunday Service gathering for good measure.
We’re yet to find out if this album will be a studio album or a live album similar to Beyoncés’ Homecoming. Perhaps it’ll be a combination of the two.
When The Life of Pablo first dropped, it was met with mixed reviews. Albeit, one thing both old and new Ye fans could agree on was that ‘Father Stretch My Hands Part 1’ was a straight-fire bop. Earlier this year, Kanye and his Sunday Service crew took the track to a whole new level in a glowing, James Turrell-inspired space. In my opinion, this version of FSMHP1 has to make it onto the Jesus is Born record.
A song that begins with “We don’t want no devil in the house, God! We want the Lord!” is a song that gets a golden buzzer straight onto a Kanye Christmas album titled ‘Jesus is Born’. And Kanye, if you are going to re-do it, make sure Chance is involved (that verse always goes OFF).
Those of you who tweet about ‘missing the old Kanye’ 24/7, are fake fans who clearly slept on Ghost Town: the stand-out hit from his 2018 album Ye. It’s chilling, it’s quotable and it features 070 Shake, John Legend and Kid Cudi.
I believe that Ghost Town has to be included on Jesus Is Born as, if there’s any song that deserves a second release, it’s this one. (WARNING: The deep and meaningful lyrics may cause you to cry. Yes, even you grown men out there.)
‘Lift Off’ on Jesus is Born
Sure, you’ve heard Kanye and Jay-Z’s Lift Off ft Beyoncé (from Watch the Throne), but I bet you’ve never heard it stripped-down and sung quite like this. Let us pray that him and Hov are on good enough terms to get this on the Jesus is Born album.
Through the Valley, a track reportedly scrapped from October’s Jesus is King album (performed here by the objectively-talented MoMo Boyd), deserves to be heard. Go on Ye, add it to the album.
Remember the vocalist on ‘All Mine’ (from Kanye’s Ye album)? Well, that’s singer-songwriter Ant Clemons who also features on We’ll Find A Way: an unreleased track first previewed at a Sunday Service.. Seeing that the track didn’t make it onto the Jesus is King, we suspect it’ll feature on Ye’s Christmas record. (I do hope so because, quite frankly I’m sick of trying to stream it from Youtube.)
In the Beats One interview with Zane Lowe, Kanye spoke about re-recording songs to remove the curse words. Recording this gospel take on Bound 2 – a song classically packed with X-Rated lyrics – for Jesus is Born seems like the perfect place to start.
Considered by many to be his best track ever, Jesus Walks must be featured on a Sunday Service album. I can’t wait for my Christmas Day ‘drink every time you hear Kanye sing/rap Jesus’ drinking game; a game that’d be even more fun if, like Ye’s homeboy, I could also turn water into wine.
‘Don’t Speak’ by No Doubt is in everyone’s top 10 favourite 90s songs (if it isn’t, then you, my friend, are a nobody). The song, which speaks to many in times of heartbreak, received a gospel upgrade at one of July’s Sunday Services. Gwen Stefani was so impressed by the choir’s rendition of her 1996 hit that she took to Twitter to ask Kim for the whole version. Perhaps that version will make it onto the Jesus is Born album.
And finally, I would like to request Sia on the Jesus is Born album. After watching this clip recorded by Kim Kardashian-West back in May, you’ll understand why.
December 25th – put it in your diaries.
Forget Christmas – new Ye is coming.
Not just your average Joe, Lord Joseph William Furness – lorded by a mate for his birthday (a decision they now live to regret) – struggles to understand a world in which everyone isn’t as blunt, unemotional and sarcastic as him. His mother calls him pretentious because of his materialistic nature; whilst his father tells him that he can’t live in his own ‘dream world’ forever, but he seems to be doing pretty well so far. He plans to write for The Hook until he sees his name in shining lights – a future promised to him by his year 4 primary school teacher.