I miss the old Kanye, straight from the ‘Go Kanye
Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye
I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye
The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye
I miss the sweet Kanye, chop up the beats Kanye
I gotta to say at that time I’d like to meet Kanye
See I invented Kanye, it wasn’t any Kanyes
And now I look and look around and there’s so many Kanyes
I used to love Kanye, I used to love Kanye
I even had the pink polo, I thought I was Kanye
What if Kanye made a song about Kanye
Called “I Miss The Old Kanye, ” man that would be so Kanye
That’s all it was Kanye, we still love Kanye
And I love you like Kanye loves Kanye
— Kanye West, “I Love Kanye”, The Life of Pablo (2016)
I remember it like it was yesterday (November 20, 2005). Almost 14 years ago. One of my first real concerts as a teenager. I wore bell bottoms jeans, some cheap tan boots that hurt my feet, and a lime green sweater. My mom paid a family member to be my chaperone. I was embarrassed by that part but nonetheless, I was thrilled. I was going to see the man himself—- Mr. Kanye West LIVE in concert.
Kanye West (who at the time had just released his “Late Registration” album) was on his 2005 “Touch the Sky Tour” tour and Birmingham, AL was one of the stops on the multi-city tour.
Over the years, I would often recall that concert. How the auditorium was only 75% full. How Keyshia Cole and American Idol winner, Fantasia, were his opening acts. How intricate his concert set was— so many changes in wardrobe and changes in sets. Such a creative mastermind he has always been.
So many memories of that amazing show. So many memories of the “Old Kanye”…….
In case you’ve been under a rock this entire year, you probably have noticed a transition or change in Kanye West. He has been putting out more gospel music and hosting his now famous Kanye West Sunday Services.
For some, this may seem like a stretch, but for some old time fans like myself, I see glimpses of the “Old Kanye”……..
- the Kanye that made “Jesus Walks”
- the Kanye that boldy called things what they were—- “blessings”.
Looking at comments on social media, there seem to be three major responses to this recent Kanye West behavior:
- “Yay! So good for him! So good that so many new souls will be brought to Christ through him. A Saul to Paul conversion is possible.
- “Ummmm, no sir. What are you doing? Is this a cult? This is not okay. The church is no place for your shenanigans. Get gone.”
- Undecided. “I’m not quite sure how I feel about this but I’m interested. I’ll stay tuned for more”
“So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.” – 1 Corinthians 4:5
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” – John 8:7
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here“- 1 John 4: 1-3
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” – Matthew 7:1-2
Honestly, I’m in between the “Undecided” and “Yay” group. I’m curious and excited. Yet, still I am cautious. I think it dangerous to judge too harshly and I also see it as dangerous to believe things so easily.
However, as both a Christian and a old school Kanye West fan, I would like to just savor this moment.
This moment of the Old Kanye mixed with the New Kanye. This moment of wonder. This moment of community and togetherness. This moment of musical genius. This moment of creativity. This moment of HOPE.
Maybe nothing will come of this movement. Maybe something will. Maybe someone will turn toward Christ because of it. Maybe there will be some division over what’s happening. We don’t know what is to come. But again, I’m choosing to savor the right here and the right now. This very moment.
So here’s to this moment—- this very special moment where some of the old school Kanye West fans have the opportunity to exclaim, “Welcome Home, Kanye”!
Much love, Kanye.
“Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough. This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up. For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times. You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again. That’s why I need… FAITH, more, safe, war” —– Kirk Franklin, “Ultra Light Beam”, The Life of Pablo (2016)