Kanye West’s ninth studio album, “Jesus Is King,” was scheduled for release last Friday, Sept. 27. Despite confirmation from West himself and his wife Kim Kardashian that “Jesus Is King” would not be delayed, the album has yet to appear on streaming services or West’s website. Since the announcement of the album’s existence last fall, West’s newest project has seen a massive creative overhaul over the course of a year.
Following West’s Wyoming sessions in the summer of 2018, which saw him producing for a prolific number of artists including Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Teyana Taylor and Nas, West sought to keep the creative ball rolling by announcing the release of the album “Yandhi” for Sept. 29, 2018. Billed as a creative sequel to his critically acclaimed 2013 album “Yeezus,” “Yandhi” would have seen West heading in a more trap-influenced direction as the artist held sessions in Florida with artists such as Migos, Tekashi69, YNW Melly and the late XXXTentacion.
Prior to the original release date, West dropped the lead single from “Yandhi,” “I Love It,” featuring Miami rapper Lil Pump. Lil Pump would go on to join West for a performance on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” scheduled for the same night as the album’s release. During his performance of “Ghost Town” from his 2018 album “Ye,” West diverged into a rant centered around his endorsement of President Donald Trump and his infatuation with his “MAGA” hat. The performance ended up running too long and “Saturday Night Live” producers cut West off mid-song. No album was released on this date.
Three days after his appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” West admitted to TMZ that “Yandhi” had yet to be completed. West would continue recording, both in his hometown of Chicago and as far away as Uganda. Kardashian went on to suggest that “Yandhi” could be ready for a November 2018 release, yet shortly after his performance at Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival on Nov. 11, 2018, West took to Twitter clarifying the album was not ready yet and delayed the release indefinitely.
Throughout the early months of 2019, West was noticeably quiet. Most of his creative output came in the form of private performances he titled “Sunday Service,” where he performed old and new material alongside a full choir. The performances traveled across the United States, with the first public performance at 2019’s edition of Coachella.
These “Sunday Service” performances continued throughout 2019, leading to an announcement via Kim Kardashian’s Twitter that West would be dropping an album titled “Jesus Is King” on Sept. 27, 2019. West confirmed this himself at a “Sunday Service” performance in Atlanta. But like each time before, it was not to be. Rather than an album, West held three separate impromptu shows in Detroit, Chicago and New York the weekend of Sept. 27. The event previewed the music West was working on as of late, but also served to reveal a new IMAX film meant to document the making of “Jesus Is King.” The film is expected to begin screening on Oct. 25, while the album has no new release date.