Along with each of the nine solo studio albums that Kanye West has released since his 2004 debut came nine different personalities; some of the memorable personas we’ve encountered over the years include Sad Boy Kanye (808s & Heartbreak), MAGA Kanye (YE), and Kanye the Disciple (Jesus Is King). Today, the Chicago rapper released the first single from his upcoming album God’s Country, re-introducing fans to the Kanye that they know and love.
The song, which also features his collaborator, mentee, and almost brother-in-law Travis Scott, reads as an feverish prayer to the heavens for the healing and cleansing for the world in light of all of its current turmoil. The lyrics match the visuals, depicting scenes of police brutality and violence in the Black community, and speaking to a need for change that West believes only God can bring.
"Rain down on us," West pleads on the chorus, with urgency. "Wash us in the blood. Holy Spirit, come down."
In case you missed the memo, West is a born again Christian now. But the vibes of "Wash Us in the Blood" are also a curious callback to his Yeezus days, which were anything but holy — remember when he literally said that he was God on a track? Sonically similar to songs like "New Slaves" and "Send It Up," the new song is disjointed and a little bit chaotic, a composition of industrial and electronic sounds that shouldn't make sense but do.
That mashup resulted in a song that sounds like if Yeezus finally met Jesus, and the Kanye stans are absolutely loving it.
The music multi-hyphenate has spent recent years on the edge of cancellation due to a number of incendiary comments that made many of his OG fans wonder if he was in the sunken place, but to some diehards, "Wash Us in the Blood" is a sign that the old Ye may still be inside there somewhere. West's lyrics touch, albeit briefly, on everything from the school to prison pipeline to this country's history of genocide, problems that he thinks stem from a culture of immortality. Not anything super radical, but given that this is coming from the same person who insinuated that chattel slavery was a choice just a few years ago — still wild — it's no wonder that Team Yeezy has this one on repeat.
God's Country will be West's tenth studio album following the mixed reviews of his gospel project Jesus is King. It's a little early to call it, but I think it's safe say that the old Kanye might be back.