Miles Richardson | Staff Writer
A few weeks ago, Kanye West took the world by storm by releasing his new rap album “Jesus Is King.”
Now, many of us have formed new opinions of Kanye, and most of them haven’t been very pleasant. This is mainly due to his antics over the past year: proclaiming his love for Donald Trump, wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and going public on TMZ stating that slavery was a choice.
In light of these events, many rumors began to circulate about Kanye’s mental health. He was said to have “gone crazy” by several media outlets and personalities, and was considered canceled by many celebrities and hip-hop fans.
He later announced to the world that he had been struggling with bipolar disorder and was planning on stepping away from politics in order to focus on improving himself and being creative. At this point, Kanye had seemed to hit rock bottom.
The once world-renowned and respected rap icon had been reduced to a mere laughingstock, his face plastered on memes all over social media.
Nevertheless, Kanye arose from the ashes. After a near full year of being irrelevant in the music industry, Kanye began to ring bells with the release of Jesus Is King, his new Christian rap album.
This can be described as nothing short of a brilliant PR move by West.
Furthermore, as Americans, we all love a good comeback story, and by executing his master marketing plan, this is exactly what Kanye has given us.
Another thing about Americans is that we love our religion; the majority of the United States identifies as Christian, and with this being the case, we have an inherent desire to want to be seen by our peers as God-fearing and righteous.
No matter how you feel about the album itself, the actions that led up to it or the mysteriously convenient timing of its release, the odds are you won’t have anything too negative to say about an album named after Jesus Christ.
After all, nobody wants to be at the receiving end of the kind of public criticism that Kanye faced. If anyone was to voice an opposing opinion to Kanye’s album, this is exactly the kind of scrutiny they would be putting themselves at risk of enduring.
By associating himself with Christ, Kanye has forced the public to accept him back with open arms. He has pulverized people across the world by forcing them to have an opinion on his newfound stance, and to most people, there is only one clear right opinion to have: an agreeable one.
Aaliyah Jackson, a freshman theatre major, shared how she felt about Kanye naming his album Jesus Is King.
“That’s cool,” she said. “He’s converting his life to Jesus. Hopefully it’s not a publicity stunt. But even if it is, he’s getting more people into Gospel music, and that’s cool.”
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if even a fraction of the people who’ve heard about this album view it as a publicity stunt, because most of them, when faced with the question of whether they support it or not, will conform to the majority perspective.
Apollo McGlone, a freshman computer science major, held a similar viewpoint.
“With Jesus Is King, Kanye took a complete 360 with his music,” McGlone said. “Instead of rapping about being a god, he turned to rapping about being a man of God. Production was the same.”
This outlook reflects the attitudes of the thousands of people across the country who have been attending Kanye’s Sunday Services to celebrate him for being an upstanding follower of Christ, or at least for broadcasting this message to the world.
These Hampton University students are proof that Kanye’s aim was achieved, which was to force people back onto his side by giving them a message they can’t dispute.
Through the use of strategic marketing, Kanye has resurrected his career by leveraging the public’s belief in the resurrection of Jesus.