Kanye’s album didn’t suffer from anything more than the complex intensity of the genre he was trying to inhabit. It’s HARD to do a good Christian Hip Hop album. Period.
Most CHH these days isn’t very exciting. The [majority of] stuff that isn’t Sunday school on a beat is basically what you hear on the radio with less hoes and more Jesus. Less f***s and more damns and hells, ya know, cuz they’re edgy.
He also dove into Gospel which, as a genre, is pretty repetitive (meaning very few do anything new with it and the majority of music makers don’t have the vocal prowess for it whether it’s new or not), and a lotta gospel has been watered down by CCM on top of that.
Also the fusion of hip hop and gospel has been done before, both by Christian artists and “secular” artists. Another element that makes this particular type of music hard to make. Add to that the fact that people don’t know what they want from God in rap music…
-Chance is kind of accepted cuz most of his music doesn’t “sound” Christian
-Lecrae is lambasted for not being Christian enough
-Bizzle is either too street or too biblical depending on who you ask
-Kendrick can do what he wants for now cuz he’s Kendrick
-NF is pretty much outside the box
-The church had a conniption when Em said he had faith in God
I could go on and on. Also, 98% of your favorite artists wouldn’t be who they are without God and church. Most started there, even if they didn’t stay. But how many of em take the risk on an entire album about the faith at the core of their lives? Not just a single.
It’s not a requirement or a slam… just something to think about.
All that to say…
This Jesus Is King album isn’t trash.
There are a few solid cuts depending what mood you’re in. In its field, it’s at least a few notches above average, the Kanye flair notwithstanding. Relax. This isn’t a symbol of him fallin off or any such thing at all. Is it great? No.
But neither is most Christian Hip Hop.