Within the matter of a few hours, Kanye once again has broken the Internet. Slowly returning into the public eye with his appearances supporting the Black Lives Matter protests, the news of his collaboration with GAP to commercialize his YEEZY fashion line, and him and Kim Kardashian’s official claim as billionaires… he goes ahead to drop a new track and music video.
Wash Us In The Blood immediately evokes the industrial hip hop soundscape of Yeezus, with the same thematic gospel-type lyrics reflective of his public Christian faith. Fans, who have been starved of Kanye’s musical persona went berserk, praising his new hit. Kanye sounds like Kanye again.
The song, which is said to appear on his upcoming album ‘God’s Country’, intertwines American black culture with his vision of Christian faith, and the pressures and expectations that black artists, such as Kanye himself, must adhere to in the public eye.
“They don’t want Kanye to be Kanye / They wanna sign a fake Kanye, they tryna sign a calm ‘Ye”
This isn’t anything new for Kanye, known to be provocative as an infamously ambivalent political anomaly in the music industry (referencing his MAGA hat phase). The music video by Arthur Jafa perfectly assists his messages; contrasting the extreme extravagance of contemporary black culture – sports cars, Ye’s concerts, twerking and dancing –with images of violence and black vulnerability in America – the video of the innocent jogger killed as result of police brutality, street fighting, sufferers of tear gas inhalations, prison life. There are Satanic and biblical images too, to support his lyrics, of three goats and a black sheep, the sun bursting, or a clip of Sister Rosetta Thorne preaching dramatically in front of a choir.
However, Travis Scott on ad-lib duty has a very short presence in the song, which was disappointing. Unfortunately, not much else to say except that he brings the young hype-factor to the song’s promotions and helps support the tones of the industrial rap genre.
Personally, I think the song is a great insight into Kanye’s new projects to come, but if it was a track that had come out before Jesus Is King that deprived lots of his fan’s from the classic Ye they craved, then it probably would not have garnered this much praise. It would’ve fit almost perfectly alongside Blood on the Leaves on Yeezus, but now it just acts as the piece of bread his fans were starving for. Politically the song is very timely and references themes Kanye is known to stand solidly for, however, the sporadic epileptic video montage does not leave behind the deepest of messages. His leadership falls short in this artistic depiction of his politics, putting side by side very poignant images of the contemporary world but without any moral guidance offered on his part. I missed Kanye, but I still think he has more to offer than this and I am willing to wait.