Kanye Omari West is a walking paradox, living proof that a man who has been at the forefront of controversy and corruption still manages to dominate the charts and the hearts of many. It is not for nothing that he is the face of the music industry, and this is thanks to his writing talent and musicality. The palette of his musical style encompasses different genres, without forgetting the roots of his discography, which can be found in hip-hop. Listening to what many in the music world call a masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the most praiseworthy thing is how unstoppable and authentic each composition is, with a handful of themes, its iconic status and the American dream it generously shares every time the cameras and microphones reach its ship. It’s a great display of everything Kanye has and doesn’t have, everything he wants for himself and everything he doesn’t want for the world.
Once again, it is paradoxical that this time he continues to embrace the vanity that defines him and incorporates his sui generis hip-hop in songs that dare to glorify and worship heaven above, the last child of the West, who according to him will save everyone who sees him from the divine punishment of the Lord. Only this time the paradox makes no sense, except for the lonely intention to be an evangelical spectacle, to worship Almighty God and the Gospel of the Holy Bible through the style the West created (and perhaps improved) a long time ago.
Jesus Christ is the king who sealed the new Sunday service of the Western choir when he leads something that resembles the praise and worship that people attend every Saturday or Sunday, depending on what fits in the shoe. Just like any other ministry, the choir opens its mouth to glorify it, for it is belts and harmony that stretch far above the clouds at the top. The only difference is that the song uses songs written by Kanye, who almost all use samples of another gospel song, such as Follow God, which contained samples of the song Can You Lose By Follow God. This spiritual experience was filmed in James Turrell’s famous Rodin Crater, a kind of amphitheatre that acts as a doorway of time, light and space and was built in the middle of the picturesque desert of Arizona.
This sacred work depends heavily on music, but the classification of this visual work as a concert film seems unfair and seems to strike a feeble blow to what the West had in mind. Music remains a characteristic of Western discography, this time it is about the power of religion in our daily lives. At the same time, the songs almost seem to be a reflection of the West itself, with lyrics like, although I am taking this walk alone, I am bowing before the king on the throne… that are supposedly cathartic and never create anything revealing or supernatural. Music is meant to elevate God to a high pedestal worthy of glory and recognition, but it is not read outside the gospel genre. Gospel music, regardless of approach, style or form, is meant to take you on a journey where you can accept yourself thanks to the almighty power of the Almighty. Many people will fall into the trap if the ministry is not egocentric, but its lyrical content will play a role of situational irony for the experience that Jesus is the King. With the fleeting and unoriginal Western vocabulary he calls songs, empathy is never a king.
What the film suffers makes up for the supernatural spectacle Nick Knight creates. Jesus is King seen by IMAX with a laser, his spectators are not only immersed in the creation of the West, but also in the recordings. The place of praise and worship corresponds to his name as the gate of heaven. The knight frames the landscape in a dream as a fleeting moment reminiscent of the power of God. It allows the camera to capture the entire space, from the picturesque desert exterior to the entrance to the crater, in what seems almost like a keyhole for celestial bodies in space, using light and shadows with nuance and depth, as if they were telling viewers that they will be part of something monumental.
For non-believers, both in God and in Cannes West, Jesus the King will not turn them into worshippers. When she is vulnerable and lives her life according to her intentions, she forces. Needless to say, a year later, when Beyonce Netflix felt you were really being brought to church, Jesus the King had not yet reached his intentions. However, it will go down in history as part of an unhealthy joke by Kanye to reinvent his music and give a sense of enlightenment to those who dare to see it. If the West believes it has achieved a new era of self-realization in its art and spirituality with the concept of the Sunday Choir and Jesus the King, think again. But it’s also about Kanye West again. What else did you expect?
Jesus is King: To a certain extent, Kanye West can be viewed with a laser at the Evia Lifestyle Center in the IMAX.
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