Caleb Vargas Presents His Review of ‘Jesus is King’ by Kanye West


Caleb Vargas

Was the album worth the wait? Keep reading to find out!

Caleb Vargas, Assistant to the Regional Manager

Between the jaw-dropping production and the half-decent lyrics, there’s a lot to be said about the newest addition to Kanye West’s discography, Jesus is King. Released on October 25, 2019, Jesus is King finds West once again redefining his relationship with religion; combining elements of gospel and Christianity, with the dark and hard-hitting production West has become known for.

The album released to a mixed reception with some critics praising it while others outright bashed it. So just how good is Jesus is King? And was it really worth the hype?

In my opinion, yes.

Here’s my track-by-track review of Jesus is King.

Every Hour~6/10

“Every Hour” serves as great opening track and sets the tone and themes for the rest of the album.  It’s also the only track on the album that does not feature West himself. Instead, we are greeted by a church choir that lays the theme for how to rest of the album will be sonically and thematically.

The song lets the listener know just what kind of album they are about to listen to. It’s full of the same energy and soul gospel music is known for and its lyrics reflect Kanye’s newfound relationship with religion.


While “Every Hour” is a cute opening and sets the stage for the rest of the album, the second track, “Selah,” is where things get real. Hard-hitting beats and an epic church organ make up the instrumentals.

When West begins his first verse, one thing is clear from the start, he had done his homework. The lyrics are rich with biblical references and imagery. The lyrics are a great example of the clever wordplay and catchy flows West has become known for.

The song continues to build up until a breathtaking choir takes the spotlight during the midpoint of the song.

Where the track begins to fall flat a little bit for me is towards the second half. Ye’s lyrics are just kind of weak, especially in comparison to the first verse. The lyrics also shift focus from West’s relationship with God to him trying to compare himself to Jesus, which kind of just contradicts what he said in the first verse. There’s also some weird audio mixing going on that makes it seem like Kanye is rapping off beat and I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not.

Overall the track has incredible production and creative lyrics that make you forget about the not so good lyrics and has easily become my favorite track on the record.

Follow God~7/10

When I first heard that Kanye West was releasing a gospel-inspired hip hop album, my mind immediately thought about his early albums such as The College Dropout and Late Registration in which Ye brilliantly used samples from old gospel songs to complement heavy bass lines and atmospheric drums. This track is nothing different and screams out old Kanye.

The beat is easily one of the catchiest ones on the album; the lyrics are nothing special, but aren’t too bad either.

Closed on Sunday~5/10

“Closed on Sundays, You’re my Chick-Fil-A

— Kanye West

A lot of people were scared when Kanye West announced his latest album was going to be a “Christian” rap album. They expressed doubts that the album would be irritably cheesy and hard to listen to. This was the first track I listened to where I honestly agreed with them. The instrumentals aren’t bad, but I mean, it’s a Kanye West produced song. Of course the instrumentals are not going to be bad.

The lyrics on the other hand… oh boy, those lyrics. The first bar Kanye says on this track is, “Closed on Sunday, You’re my Chick-Fil-A.” I wish I could tell you I was joking.

The second verse is where the track begins to get more bearable for me as the beat switches up and Ye’s lyrics don’t seem like they were written by a six year old. However, this happens just a little too late in the song and the first half isn’t listenable enough to make me want to sit through it just to get to the second part.

On God~7/10

Right off the bat, we are greeted with an uptempo and energetic beat and it’s honestly one of the best beats on the album. Lyrically, the song continues the spiritual themes we have become all too familiar with throughout the album. Like “Follow God,” the track is nothing all that special but it’s still super catchy.

Everything We Need~6/10

The track returns to its gospel roots in its sixth track, “Everything We Need.” As is the case with a couple of the songs on this track, there’s not a whole lot to say about it without sounding redundant. Kanye teams up with frequent collaborators Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons to continue preaching his interpretation of the gospel and Christianity.

Honestly, my biggest complaint with the track is its short runtime of only one minute fifty-seven seconds and I feel like the track could’ve benefited from being longer and having another verse or two.

Kanye also one-ups himself for writing the worse line possible with the line “What if Eve made apple juice,” no seriously, this line and the Chick-Fil-A one are both competing for the worst line I’ve heard all year.


“Water” sees Kanye West and collaborator Ant Clemons explore themes of purity and faith through the metaphor of water. Accompanied by the background voices of a church choir, the track just kind of sounds empty and boring. The lyrics don’t make the song any more interesting so we’re just left with what honestly sounds like an unfinished song and probably my least favorite on the record.

God is~7/10

“God is” is quite possibly the most soulful and gospel-esque song I’ve heard all year. It also features some of the most down-to-earth lyrics on the whole album. Kanye sounds the most genuine on this album and it sounds like he truly believes what he is saying on the song. He sounds humble and relatable, a quality that is rare for Kanye, but always welcome.

Hands On~6/10

“Hands on” sees Kanye responding to criticism following his decision to stop releasing secular music. It also features the most simplistic beat on the album, which is in no way a bad thing.

The lyrics, however, are just…strange. It honestly just sounds like Kanye’s trying to get people to pity him or feel sorry for him. For an album that up to this point had been pretty introspective and interesting, the lyrics on “Hands On” just fall flat for me.

Use This Gospel~8/10

“Use This Gospel” is one of the strongest tracks on the album in my opinion. It sees Kanye West teaming up with Clipse and Kenny G. Yes, you read that correctly, Clipse. The rap duo that hasn’t made a song together in like ten years, and Kenny G!!! Freakin Kenny G!!!!! Who, despite what Mrs. Confino has to say, is NOT a loser and is a cool person.

The lyrics on this track are also some of the most poetic and powerful, especially when compared to a previously mentioned “Chick-Fil-A” line. They’re also a great example of what the album is about. It’s not supposed to be Kanye preaching or telling you how to live your life, it’s about one man’s struggle with faith and spiritualism.

Jesus is Lord~7/10

“Jesus is Lord” is a great song to close the album. It does a great job summarizing all the key themes and concepts presented in the album, both lyrically and sonically.

So there you have it. Overall while this record has some really great and groundbreaking ideas for Kanye, it falls kind of flat for me in its execution at times. More importantly, the album can be seen as a new beginning for Kanye’s career and it’ll be very interesting to see what he’ll do next.

While the album has its shortcomings, I think it’s still a great record and I would definitely put it in my top ten albums of the year. In an industry saturated by songs about sex, drugs, and violence, Jesus is King serves as a breath of fresh air.

Final Rating: 7/10


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