Wednesday (Oct. 23) at Los Angeles’ The Forum, Kanye West hosted an early screening of his Jesus Is King film and listening party for his album of the same name.
An installation by San Fransisco artist Meg Webster transformed the Forum into a prairie-like landscape, equip with reeds and tall grass. Recordings of natural sounds, like crickets, played in the background while bright lights shone from above. The aesthetic, fans thought, was meant to replicate a pastoral setting, or one of Ye’s outdoor Sunday Services.
According to Billboard, Kanye’s 30-minute Jesus Is King film amplified a similar environment. Directed by Nick Knight and filmed at James Turrell’s Roden Crater art installation, the movie showcased Yeezy’s Sunday Service gospel up-and-close, along with heavenly cinematography of nature and natural landscapes. The film’s soundtrack included gospel tracks, such as “Selah,” “Perfect Praise” and “When I Think of His Goodness,” along with revised portions of Kanye’s earlier catalogs, such as 808s & Heartbreak cuts “Say You Will” and “Street Lights.”
With attendees’ cellphones kept in Yondr bags, Kanye fans also caught a glimpse of the forthcoming Jesus Is King album. Kanye played snippets of his curse-less tracklist and fans picked up on “New Body,” which still features Ty Dolla $ign and omits Nicki Minaj, Clipse and Kenny G on “Use The Gospel,” the Kim Kardashian-dedicated “Closed On Sunday” formerly titled “Sunday” and a Pusha T feature. True to its name, attendees noted that all tracks were Christian-centric in nature.
Although Jesus Is King has been repeatedly delayed, with the completion of this L.A. premiere, the odds are looking good for a Friday release. As The Face reported, Kanye told the crowd, “Two days ‘til the album drop. It’s coming.” The event also offered special merchandise, including t-shirts, sweatpants and a blue hat that read “JESUS IS KING,” which fans compared to MAGA hats.
just leaving the kanye west album listening party and i’m 99% sure these are the same hats they use for MAGA hats but in blue pic.twitter.com/1VhueIWKdb— T.J. Petracca (@tjpetracca) October 24, 2019
Jesus Is King—hopefully—will be available to stream on Friday (Oct. 25).