John 17:16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
Saved, reborn, the soul has been salvaged. Gather up all the king's men to fight the holy war. Preach devotion, not perfection. Celestial bodies collide in our place in the cosmos, sitting wherever you are feeling the vibrations through a speaker, feeling the light of the heavens beaming down to earth. In the beginning, there was nothing. Then there was light. Then chaos. And when all was said and done, Jesus’ ruined body was pulled down off the cross. Just like when he was born, he was quiet. He didn’t weep, not in the manger and not now. Saved, reborn, the soul has been salvaged.
Kanye wipes the bead of sweat from his brow. He looks down. He knows he has not been quiet. He knows he has not been himself. But he has been saved. He is reborn. He is Lazarus. He is Moses. He is Noah. He is the College Dropout. He is Yeezus. He is Pablo. He is Ye. He is not God. He is the greatest artist resting or alive. He is Kanye West. He is.
Kanye West's transformation from kid producer and aspiring artist to the biggest hip-hop musician in the world was far from an overnight metamorphosis. The religious connotations of a man emerging from a car crash and touched by angels
angels to make and create are not lost on him. He was exulted from death, but Kanye's feet never touched the ground after that. He was the runaway. He was flying. Fleeing. He was Jonah, trying to escape his mission. After glimpsing death and the ceiling of human potential, he was unsatisfied. He needed to go beyond. Lennon once said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Kanye went further. Further. Further. But, like Icarus, Kanye flew higher. Higher. Higher. And then he fell. And he fell harder and more publically than we'd ever seen anyone fall before. We watched a God plummet towards the Earth. We watched a God come crashing down and broadcasted it for the world to see.
Thrown back and forth between prophet and madman his whole career. Choices. He could beat his wings and keep running, keep flying, keep fleeing. Choices. There are no more delusions of grandeur. There are no more delusions. Kanye is awake. Choices. He found his whale. He has shed his wings. Now he says he prefers to walk. Now he says he's changed. Now he says, "you make plans and God laughs." JESUS IS KING is pure repentance. For all the choices. For all the awards show interruptions and TMZ outbursts, the Forbes covers and the $60 t-shirts; this is Kanye down on his knees, his hands together asking for forgiveness, saying "I was just a kid." This is Kanye West baptized and born again.
And it feels genuine. Whether or not you believe the words he's preaching, it feels like an attempt not to get closer to God, yet back to the kid with a backpack and wired jaw. Kanye getting closer to Kanye. And it makes me appreciate all the other work more. It makes me wonder what would we have missed if he never had that car accident. Or never got up on that stage at the 2009 VMA's? Or if he never won that first Grammy? In his own words... "I guess we’ll never know."
Who's laughing now?
- Written and Designed by Bryson Edward Howe