On album ‘Yeezus,’ Kanye West raps ‘I am a God.’ Who are we to disagree?

It’s well-known that West thinks highly of himself, as he’s compared his cultural influence to that of Steve Jobs’s.

He is one of the best-selling digital artists of all time.

He’s expecting a baby with the most talked-about woman in showbiz.

He fashions himself as a cultural icon, and with 9 million Twitter followers, 21 GRAMMY awards and presentations at Paris Fashion shows it’s pretty clear that he’s become an idol. But a God?

There’s lots of chatter this week about Kanye West’s newly released, Jesus-referenced “Yeezus” album, including his song “I Am a God.” It’s well-known that West thinks highly of himself, (in 2006, a profile in Rolling Stone said “it has become a cliche to call Kanye West arrogant.”) And that was before this week’s extended Q and A in The New York Times in which West compared his cultural influence to that of Steve Jobs’s.

But is West’s take on his nature and human nature beautiful — or blasphemy?

Here as some of the lyrics provoking the most debate this week:

West is far from the only celeb to compare himself to the Almighty. In 1966 John Lennon called the Beatles “more popular than Jesus” and, as Kia Makarechi in in the Huffington Post points out, Madonna, who grew up Catholic but now practices a mystical form of Judaism, often and controversially draws on religious themes, including mock crucifying herself during concerts.

But artists have always used religious themes to tell their own stories. And many writers have praised West’s use of religious imagery in ‘I am a God,’ endorsing the theological concept that all are created in the image and likeness of God.

West sees himself as a cultural icon, inspiring the music and fashion worlds through his provocation.

West’s religion? May we all be in the image and likeness of Kanye.

Image courtesy of Jason Persse.

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • Mike Jacob

    If Kanye were God, I’d be an atheist. Fortunately, he’s not, and I’m not. Proof of the former? My computer doesn’t recognize his name as a real word. Spell check keeps underlining it.

  • Logicworks

    I would guess that he is doing everything in his power to not say what he really wants to say about himself and others or on the subject of race in America And if he ever did say those things, everyone would realize what he truly is, and his recording career would be over.

  • DigitalQuaker

    Kanye, earning those 30 pieces of silver…

    “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born”
    Mark 14:21

  • PhillyJimi1

    At least I know that Kanye is real. More then can be said for the stories of the about the zombie and his daddy along with the tall tales of the fruit eating crimes of a rib-women who spoke to snakes.

  • haveaheart

    What a phenomenally tedious man.

  • AgentFoxMulder

    He and Shirley Maclaine can fight it out.

  • leibowde84

    Actually, historians now agree that Judas was misinterpreted in the gospels. That Jesus took it as Judas’ job to turn him over, and, in reality, Judas was doing God’s work. One more example of how it is innapropriate to take the bible word for word.

  • ged030865

    When you start taking rap lyrics seriously then you are in trouble.

  • ged030865

    “Please allow me to introduce myself, Im a man of wealth and taste”. I think we all know the song.
    Wow folks. Mick Jager made sympathy for the devil over 30 years ago and most of us know and love the song. Are we really going to take Kanye West any more seriously just because we have a blogspace to type on?

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