Over the weekend, Kanye West was expected to release his ninth studio album, Jesus Is King, after a year of delays.
Though the highly anticipated album did not drop on Friday, Sept. 27 — or Sunday, Sept. 29, as promised by the rapper’s wife, Kim Kardashian — it premiered at three exclusive listening parties held over the weekend.
The invite-only events took place in Detroit, Mich., Chicago, Ill., and New York City and allowed fans and critics to not only hear the 10-track album but see a brand-new movie documenting the making of the album called Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Experience.
According to Andrew Barber, owner and creator of the Chicago-based blog Fake Shore Drive, 42-year-old West announced at the Chicago event that he will no longer be making secular music and will focus instead on creating gospel music.
Cellphones brought to each of the listening parties were locked into Yondr pouches at West’s request, meaning no footage of the musician’s announcements was recorded.
However, Barber later wrote: “The beats on Jesus Is King sounded fire.”
“He definitely pulled from elements of previous sounds that people loved from [Watch the Throne], 808s [& Heartbreak], Yeezus, Cruel Summer and [My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy] and put a gospel spin on them,” he continued.
While Jesus Is King was not released as promised, the album’s artwork was projected onto a screen throughout each of West’s Sunday Service shows on the weekend.
The artwork made its way to social media and stirred up some more buzz about the album.
Following Friday night’s event in Detroit, a line of new merchandise was made available through the Sunday Service website featuring the phrase “Jesus is King.”
As of this writing, it’s unclear when Jesus Is King will be released to the public.
The Jesus Is King film will premiere exclusively in select IMAX cinemas on Friday, Oct. 25, as reported by Pitchfork.
‘Jesus Is King’ tracklist (according to Kardashian)
1. Up From the Ashes
2. Follow God
3. On God
6. L.A. Monster
7. New Body
8. Use This Gospel
9. Hands On
Global News has reached out to a representative of Universal Music Group seeking comment on the album.
Additional updates will be made on the official Kanye West website.
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