Kanye West became the most widely-discussed artist amongst Christians when the title of his upcoming album, “Yeezus,” was announced.
The rapper who won a Grammy with the song “Jesus Walks” in 2005 will invoke the name of God’s son again on June 18, this time combining it with his own nickname, “Ye.” Many Christians cried Exodus 20:7 after hearing the news, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
“That is way too close,” former Full House star Candace Cameron-Bure told Shade 45’s Sway Calloway of West’s album title. “It totally bugs me. I have issues with that.”
Cameron-Bure criticized West for comparing himself to Jesus.
Much of the Christian hip-hop community sung the same tune.
Lamp Mode Recordings’ God’s Servant said on Twitter that West stooped to Jay-Z’s level, who calls himself “Hov,” short for, “Jehovah.”
Yeezus is just as blasphemous as Jay Hova. Nothing new, unfortunately.
— God’s Servant (@theservantfella) May 22, 2013
“I’m a little nervous for [West],” Collision Records COO Mike Luna told Wade-O Radio. “The Lord is just not going to be mocked. I’m not saying that some plague is going to happen to him, but that’s not a smart move.”
Urbpop Records’ Cash Hollistah also voiced his displeasure for West on Twitter.
in “nobody cares, cash” news…i’ve given up on kanye.
— cash hollistah. (@cashhollistah) May 20, 2013
Not all were quick to criticize West, however.
“I just wanted to hear what it was about,” Arms Out Entertainment’s Japhia Life told Wade-O Radio of his instant reaction to hearing the title. “That was it.”
“He’s too smart for this to be a publicity stunt,” said Luna. “Kanye West is a very intelligent artist and he has a reason for everything he does. He’s trying to communicate something.”
Neither Luna nor Life felt comfortable guessing West’s intentions.
“That’s the problem with Christians. We’re so quick to jump at somebody’s intent,” said Life before accusing judgmental believers of thinking they know everyone’s motives. “You can’t know a person’s heart until you see the fruit that comes from it.”
Life admitted that West’s intent could ultimately be blasphemous, but refused to assume his motives before listening to the project.
Luna guaranteed that some Christian hip-hop artists will write diss tracks aimed in West’s direction. Many will recall that God Over Money’s Bizzle addressed West in songs “Truth Music” and “Beware” long before the announcement of “Yeezus.”
“We’re taking shots at one another in our subgenre,” said Luna. “I’m not so naive to think that somebody is not going to take the opportunity to make a name for themselves by attacking Kanye West with the title of his album.”