Kanye has always had somewhat of a messiah complex, and at no time was that more evident than in the lead-up to his 2013 album Yeezus. Combining his nickname of Yeezy with that of Jesus, for an extremely long time, Kanye told his fans that he was the saviour of music. Not just hip hop, but of all music.
Ever since, there has been a fan-driven deification of the artist. People fed into the idea that he was a god of sorts, and he continued on this trajectory with his Sunday Services. He stood up on his mound surrounded by sycophants as he made music, and from what he was saying, he genuinely believed that the people at the service were his disciples.
All very strange. Even more shocking was that on what was expected to be a religious album, one of the artists credited was Gary Glitter, a disgraced child sex offender and rapist. Samples don’t just slip into songs, they are chosen carefully, and Kanye proudly confirmed he chose that sample specifically.
According to those around West, ‘Black Skinhead’ sampled Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock and Roll Part 2’ in order to “add to its rebellious lyrics,” and that it did. However, except for his disciples and mega-fans, people saw the sample as more tasteless than rebellious, with the song screaming rape before it screamed rock and roll.
Kanye has always been off-kilter, with Yeezus boasting tracks such as ‘Blood On The Leaves’ and ‘I Am a God’, there is always that niggling question in the back of listeners’ minds, “is this artsy or the ramblings of a mad man who needs help?”
Although Kanye’s 2018 album Jesus Is King was, in part, him attempting to publicly repent, his actions, such as choosing to change his Instagram profile picture to a photo of Kris Jenner, makes one question whether there will ever be stability for West moving forward.
You can listen to the original sample and the Kanye song below.