Kanye West and IMAX announce Jesus Is King. The feature film will complement the American musician’s ninth studio album of the same name, which was originally scheduled for a September 27 release, but has yet to appear online.
In 2018, West produced several albums collectively known as the “Wyoming Sessions.” One of the releases was Ye, the musician’s anticipated eighth album. The cover art includes a mountain skyline, along with the text “I hate being Bi-Polar it’s awesome.” Ye addresses West’s personal struggles in recent years, and was recorded at a private ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Since the album’s release, West promised a new album, "Yandhi," and later traveled to Uganda to further work on new music. In 2019, West began performing with a church group known as “Sunday Service.” During the process, "Yandhi" reportedly evolved into Jesus Is King.
Per an IMAX press release, the company will collaborate with West for a Jesus Is King movie. The project was filmed during the summer 2019, and features the aforementioned Sunday Service group. Jesus Is King will also spotlight artist James Turrell and his art installation “Roden Crater,” located in Arizona’s Painted Desert. Over the weekend, West reportedly unveiled Jesus Is King sneak peeks at Detroit’s Fox Theatre and Chicago’s Roosevelt University. Check out the official Jesus Is King poster below.
Last May, West appeared as a guest on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. In the episode, West discusses his creative process and past controversies, along with his Sunday Service group and admiration for Turrell, a 76-year-old artist from Los Angeles. The Netflix episode teases concepts that West may incorporate into Jesus Is King, as the IMAX experience would seemingly correlate with Turrell’s exploration of light and space. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, has released Jesus Is King album information on Twitter, and recently used her Instagram account to note that the album would be released on September 29 after “final tweaks to the mixes.”
West's fans may be disappointed that Jesus Is King, the album, still hasn’t been released, but the delay is most likely due the musician’s busy IMAX weekend. It's a relatively minor controversy, at least when compared to West’s long history of making questionable statements both on social media and during interviews. West may have indeed lost many fans over the years, but he undoubtedly gained many more in his pursuit to continuously evolve as an artist. Now, we’ll have have to see how West executes his creative vision for Jesus Is King, and whether it will be more about the art or more about personal branding.