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Is Yeezus Sparking a Revival?

When Kanye West revealed that the name of his latest album was The Life of Pablo, many hip-hop critics assumed it was a reference to either the artist Pablo Picasso or the infamous cartel leader Pablo Escobar. West’s revelation that it was actually about the Apostle Paul may have been surprising to some fans, but the reference—not to mention the frequent themes of spiritual wrestling on the record—are becoming more and more common for this generation’s self-proclaimed “most impactful artist.” And the same is true for just about every artist West had appear on the album.

The guest artists on The Life of Pablo all seem to have a common thread of wrestling with big questions:

Chance The Rapper
“Today’s the last day my old life, last day smoking cigs. Headed to church for help. All things are possible thru Christ who strengthens me.”
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Jill Scott
“Here I am again asking questions, waiting to be moved … Where is the turn so I can get back to what I believe in? God, please hear my call … I need your healing.”
“Hear My Call”

Kendrick Lamar
“God put something in my heart to get across and that’s what I’m going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done.”
— To Complex

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Kelly Price
“The dictionary definition of the word ‘gospel,’ [is] not religious by definition. It just means ‘good news’ so when you can articulate good news, you are, in fact, delivering the gospel.”
— To Billboard

Kirk Franklin
“[Condemning Kanye] is a dangerous message I believe we send to the world when our posture is they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring … It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace.”
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