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Is Kanye West at “God Level”?

“Ima let you finish but Kanye West had the best wedding of alllll time!!!” Seriously. He did. To Kim Kardashian last Saturday. And would you expect anything less than the height of magnificence?  An Italian wedding held at Forte di Belvedere in Florence, complete with VIP guest list, haute-couture style, stunning performances, and the debut of Kanye’s new song, “God Level”.

No wedding of Kimye would be complete without a plug, so “God Level” it is.  An aggressive, minimalist track with pounding, primal percussion and a tribalist beat, it reminds of “Blkkk Skkkinhead”.  But this time, instead of repeating “God” on the track, Kanye intones, “God Level”.  How very Yeezus of him.  Most people are aware of Kanye’s multi-layered relationship with God, faith and religion.  On one hand, folks might call him a conflicted but courageous Christian –  this from the “Jesus Walks” era.  Kanye famously rapped, “I’m just tryna say the way school needs teachers / The way Kathy Lee needed Regis / That’s the way I need Jesus”.

These rhymes were honest and brave. Then the Jesus Piece wearing era began. Suddenly, Kanye’s passionate plea for Christ got shrouded with his need to turn Christ into a golden figure swinging ‘round his neck.  Christ as a fashion statement, or an idol of sorts.  It seemed like his innocence gave way to his ego – or some might even say – his God complex.  (Or is it his Christ complex?)  Remember that elegiac Rolling Stones cover where Kanye is pictured with a crown of thorns on his head over the words, “The Passion of Kanye West”?  Kanye has touched on the subject of God in many of his songs including, “No Church In The Wild”.  Watch the hook: “Human beings in a mob / What’s a mob to a king? / What’s a king to a God / What’s a God to an unbeliever, who don’t believe in anything?”

Now, Kanye claims to be at “God Level”.  At this point, it’s safe to say that Kanye believes himself to actually be a god.  He projects this belief in his artistry, musicality, devotion to his craft, and most importantly, his very identity.  Most people might find this boast blasphemous.  Most people would dismiss Kanye as damn-near Satanic (Illuminati rumors persist) for even projecting this sentiment.  This writer in no way claims to know Yeezy’s true religious beliefs, but perhaps he is taking his cue from the part of the Bible where Jesus Christ – whom Kanye seems to be chasing in his career – makes the same exact claim about His innate God-ness, while schooling crowds that regular human beings are indeed “gods” (John 10:34)).

Yeezus is by no means Jesus, but he seems to share the same audacity to claim godhood in public. In contrast, he also wears controversial religious fashion that feeds the Illuminati rumors.  (Peep his shirts with Kanye-as-beast images and creepy goat images right next to the Star of David).  Also check that “Power” performance in which Kanyeezy swapped his iconic Jesus Piece for the ancient Egyptian God Horus piece.  Wait, what happened?  Did he switch gods somewhere along the road to superstardom?  What then does one make of Kanye’s true creed?

What do you think?  Is the Chi-town rapper truly at “God Level”? Or is he just misguided?

 

“God Level” is featured on Adidas’ The Dream: All Or Nothing World Cup soccer campaign.


(Photo: Jason Persse/Flickr/Wikimedia)


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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