Billboard’sTop Gospel Artist of 2020 was Kanye West, he repeated the same feat in 2019. The icon was also the top male gospel artist that year. Forward to late 2021, Ye has done it again, dominating the top 20 songs on the gospel charts. He made history once again from having a new record of being the first artist to monopolise the entire Top 10 on two Billboard Christian songs charts to now occupying the whole top 20. Here comes, Billboard, Grammy and BET Award domination in the gospel and Christian genre for the next year.
Donda is primarily a hip hop and gospel album, drawing upon elements of West's previous work, including pop, progressive rap and trap, as well as influences from boom bap, drill, electropop, hip house and industrial hip hop. It has been described as both minimalist and maximalist, with a reduced presence of drums in the production, which was handled by West, BoogzDaBeast, E.Vax, Gesaffelstein, Jeff Bhasker, and Mike Dean, among others. The album features vocal contributions from multiple artists and is darker in tone and lyrical content than West's prior efforts, exploring religion, addiction, ego, West's mental instability and relationships with his family, his separation from Kim Kardashian, and his late mother Donda West, after whom the album is named.
A lot of church folk (Gospel and Christain artists included) were up in arms and this became a hot topic in minutes. Kanye the biggest star in the world, whatever he releases will dominate the charts. So many questions were asked and this has opened up a huge debate from the Christian and gospel industry which caused heavy weights Tye Tribett and Fred Hammond to weigh in on the matter.
Fred Hammond who has has his songs covered by Kanye West Sunday Service choir weighed in on the matter;
- Wow y'll really mad, wow the whole chart and y'all mad. Why don't you look at it like this, God has just put right in your hand a brand new audience to go and reach. You are used to complaining because you are looking at charts, Charts are just what it is, I tell you what, why don't you get into the presence of God, ask Him what you should make, pay attention to whats trending and figure out how to reach these people. Im not mad and I'm not hating, I look at this as a blessing you know why? because I want to try and write something that blesses each of those people and get them a personal relationship with God. Get busy and stop tripping, take your anointed self out there and throw a lifeline out to these people. The harvest is right there for you to bless, stop focusing on what someone else is doing.
"Im not surprised Kanye is taking over the chart, the old saying is "Don't hate the player, hate the game. This is the industry, I am not suprised at all. Kanye is smart. He is from Hip Hop, thats his fanbase, the voice of the culture today. No one can compete with that. This is the world we live in, sensationalism is King, the more hype and support that surrounds you, that show the world works. We are Kingdom, thats not how it works here, we are not of this world and we have to be cool with that"
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Our two cents (HFP)
Does gospel music need more creativity? Are we sounding too mundane? Do we need to do more to reach more? We are the genre with the biggest inspiration of all time, Jesus. Are we too anointed with no creativity when we serve the one who created the universe?
God can use anyone and anything, Kanye has reached so many people that would have never heard the gospel, from the Sunday Service choir to the Jesus is Lord album to Donda. Our purpose is that the gospel is preached in our churches but also to the world. to people that need to know God. The world needs us, the world needs our music and we need to invade this world with the gospel. Music is one of the fastest tools.