Kanye West has released a new album with his Sunday Service choir, titled Jesus Is Born. The superstar rapper had teased that the record would arrive on Christmas Day and, unlike with its predecessor, Jesus Is King, stuck to his promised timeframe.
Jesus Is Born features 19 tracks, including gospel versions of songs from his back catalogue like ‘Ultralight Beam’ and songs that have featured at his various Sunday Service sessions throughout 2019. The album was executive produced by West.
Jesus Is Born follows Jesus Is King, which was initially due for release on 27 September but eventually arrived on 25 October. According to reports, part of the reason for the delay was down to the rapper revising the tracks, even though the album was “finished”.
In a four-star review, NME said: “It’s true that Jesus Is King lacks the goofball sense of humour that always made Kanye West albums so much fun. But what’s been sacrificed has been partly compensated for with warmth and hope for the future.”
Jesus Is King debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart following its debut on 25 October. With Jesus Is King, his ninth chart-topper, West tied the record previously held by Eminem for most consecutive No. 1 albums. Every single one of Jesus Is King’s songs hit the Hot 100 in its first tracking period as well, with ‘Follow God’ premiering at the highest point at No. 7 on that chart.
Earlier this week (22 December), West brought his latest opera Mary to New York’s Lincoln Center. The show featured West’s Sunday Service live band and choir, and was the same show which saw the rapper and his performers wearing silver face paint. Mary followed on the previous West opera Nebuchadnezzar, which debuted at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in November.
Meanwhile, last week it was reported that West and his former collaborator Jay-Z had settled their legal feud regarding the streaming service Tidal. Jay-Z went on to name West’s ‘Follow God’ as one of his favourite songs of the year.