Hip hop phenomenon Kanye West has released a trailer for his upcoming film Jesus Is King, which features a gospel rendition of his 2008 808’s and Heartbreak track, “Say You Will.” This latest film will be a release across select IMAX theaters around the United States on October 25, and serves as a companion piece for his upcoming, yet constantly delayed album of the same name.
The end of the trailer features a quote from The New Testament which states: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.” This quote is taken from Mark 1:15.
West held a screening for the film last month in Detroit, Michigan, followed by another one in New York City, where he reportedly told the audience “When you’re an artist, you’re spiritually free,” which is likely in regards to his transition over to gospel music. The screenings and the upcoming album are expected to be completely clean, without the use of any profanity, and no alcohol was reportedly served at the screening in New York City.
The performer’s roots have always been heavily invested in gospel music, going as far back to his debut album The College Dropout. One of the album’s main singles, “Jesus Walks” is backed by a gospel choir in its sample, and discusses faith openly, and at times obscenely with the use of profanity, to make a critique on the contemporary hip hop culture, which at the time was dominated by artists “gangsta rap” such as 50 Cent. West performed the song live at the Grammy’s in 2005, with a full backing gospel choir, and even an appearance from legendary soul singer Mavis Staples.