Culture

Kanye West Drops a Christmas Surprise: A New Album Featuring His Sunday Service Gospel Choir

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On Christmas Day, Kanye West dropped a new album, called Jesus Is Born, a follow-up to his wildly successful and widely acclaimed Jesus Is Lord album, which was released on October 25 and promptly soared to the top of the charts. Kanye is the executive producer of the new album, which features the Sunday Service choir that’s been touring with the rapper. While Kanye is featured prominently, “Sunday Service” is listed as the artist on the cover of the album.

Kanye announced the new album on Twitter Wednesday:

The Sunday Service was “an idea we had to open up our hearts to make music that we felt was as pure and as positive as possible and just do it for an hour every Sunday, and have something where people can just come together and feel good with their families,” according to a press release. “The Service features gospel-inspired remixes of classic songs of different genres, and also straight forward choir-led gospel tunes. The mix of hip hop and spirituality has drawn great crowds and continues to inspire globally.”

The album, which clocks in an hour and 24 minutes, features 19 songs, including “Satan We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down,” “Balm in Gilead,” and “That’s How the Lord Works.”

In October, Jesus Is King debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The singer’s ninth chart-topping album tied the record previously held by Eminem for most consecutive No. 1 albums. In addition, every single on Jesus is King, which Kanye called his “first clean album,” hit the Hot 100, with “Follow God” premiering at No. 7.

It’s been a busy year for the mega-star. In January, Kanye announced on Twitter that he was recommitting his life to Christ. His wife, professional celebrity Kim Kardashian, said in September, “Kanye started this to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family…He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.”

Earlier this year, the multiple-Grammy award-winner began holding Sunday Services around the country featuring a gospel choir and powerful gospel-themed sermons.

At a service in Salt Lake City in October, he confessed that before turning to Christ he had been beholden to “multiple gods,” namely the “god of ego, god of money, god of pride, the god of fame.”

“I’m an artist, I’m a creative, I’m a chef and I can only cook for one single God. I can only serve God,” he explained. “When I was trying to serve multiple gods it drove me crazy. That’s like the greatest chef in the world trying to make a seven-course meal and serve it at eight different houses.”

“I didn’t even know what it meant to be saved,” he said, said. “I love Jesus Christ. I love Christianity.”

In addition to his busy Sunday Service touring schedule, Kanye has managed to find time to produce and perform in a pair of Christian-themed operas — Mary, which debuted in Miami earlier this month, and Nebuchadnezzar, which debuted in Hollywood in November.

In an interview with Vogue last week West said, “A lot of times, people try to point out the flaws of people who are Christian. But always remember, Christians are not Christ.”

“We fall short,” he said. “We all fall short of the glory.”

Listen to Jesus Is Born: