“Jesus Lord” is the fifteenth track on Kanye West’s 2021 album ‘Donda.’ This song features verses by Kanye West, Jay Electronica, while Pt. 2 of the song features additional verses by Sheek Louch, Jadakiss, and Styles P, and a massive outro featuring Larry Hoover Jr. Let’s dive into this track for more in-depth breakdown.
‘Donda’ is Kanye West’s tenth studio album released on August 29, 2021, after being teased and delayed multiple times. Kanye West held two listening parties for the album at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta leading up to the album release, and the third party in Chicago. This track was played at the second listening party.
Overall, the theme of “Jesus Lord” is praising Jesus and seeking his blessings in all the endeavors in the singers’ lives. However, more intricate stories entwine on the topic touching injustices in society.
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Kanye West “Jesus Lord” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Kanye West urges anyone who needs Jesus Christ in their lives to come forward. Anyone who has been through a lot, anyone who feels lost, and anyone who needs motivation, Jesus can help them find their way.
Kanye West kicks off the song by singing that he has been thinking about a lot of things that have taken place throughout his life. He knows that both God and the Devil look down on him. And lately, it has been difficult to tell them apart. He says how he has been watching his friends falling dead like flies around him. He is not sure why he still has to endure and witness these crimes. Kanye was lucky enough to get off the streets before he was on the wrong end of a gun. But, still, the struggle is far from over.
But lately, I’ve been losing all my deepest friends (Lord)
And lately, I’ve been swimmin’ on the deepest end
Kanye West seemingly admits to drowning himself in alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. He admits that suicidal thoughts have been creeping on him. Maybe the light of Jesus Christ has been the one thing that has kept him going so far.
Mama, you was the life of the party
I swear you brought life to the party
When you lost your life, it took the life out the party (Jesus)
Kanye West dedicated this album to his late mother, named ‘Donda.’ It is still apparent that her passing in 2007, due to complications from cosmetic surgery, still affects him greatly to this date. Kanye admits that all of his energy was buried when they buried his mother.
Next, Kanye West narrates a story about a little family that gets pushed into the deepest end of unfortunate circumstances in society.
Kanye sings about a family of four–mother, elder brother, younger brother, and a younger daughter. Their father is not in the picture. Unfortunate circumstances lead to the younger brother getting shot on the streets and dying right there. The family is devastated. There is no father to protect them. The elder brother gets himself a gun, to protect himself and his family. The weight of the family is on his shoulders now. The mother is devastated and she turns to drugs. The younger daughter is sixteen and pregnant. She has her daughter and her father doesn’t show up either.
There is immense pressure on the elder brother to provide for the family. There is no job he can land to support the family. He starts dealing drugs for fast money. But fast money is short-lived. One day, in the streets, the elder brothers come across the guy who murdered his younger brother. His rage is beyond control. The devil speaks right into his ears. The light is dimmed. The elder brother asks the other guy to give him one reason why he should not end his life. The other guy says that there is nothing worse that he has not already experienced. The elder brother suddenly blacks out and he starts seeing a light. The guys who took the younger brother’s life took the elder’s as well.
Maybe this story is fictional, but it doesn’t really sound too unrealistic. Oftentimes, people do get pushed into the worse circumstances in life. Sometimes, societies are built in such a way, too.
Overall, Kanye’s message to his fellow African Americans is this;
And better have a strategy or you could be a statistic
This lyric sends a strong message that they better have some strategy to hold the winning hand in life. If you do not strategize to land the upper hand, you will end up another ‘police brutality’ statistic in the history of America.
The second verse performed by Jay Electronica takes a more political stance while paying homage to Jesus Christ.
Earthquakes will strike this nation for what Bush did to Rwanda (Facts)
What the Clintons did to Haiti and Downing Street did to Ghana
Around 2008, then-president G. W. Bush is said to have used the nation of Rwanda as a military puppet to gain his influence on the natural resource-rich nation of Congo on the border of Rwanda. With Bush’s military aid, rebel groups have been destabilizing the governments of both these nations, running them into economic bankruptcy and ripe for picking by the US. The Clintons are said to have used the Haitians as lab rats in their economic tests, before being implemented in the US. The Downing Street hosts the residence for the Prime Minister of the UK, one of the highest decision-making bodies in the country. The UK is blamed for colonizing Ghana and turning the sovereign nation into a puppet of the Empire.
Towards the end of his verse, Jay Electronic also brings up the 1962 film ‘The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah,’ depicting a tale based on the Biblical reading of Sodom and Gomorrah.’ The two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have been filled with sinners in the eyes of the Lord and get destroyed by angels using fire.
The outro to the song is a speech by Larry Hoover Jr. He is the son of Larry Hoover Sr., who is an American gang leader, a founder of the Chicago street gang called the Gangster Disciples. Hoover is currently serving six life sentences at the ADX Florence prison in Florence, Colorado. His sentences include a 150–200 year sentence for a 1973 murder; and in 1997, after a 17-year investigation of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise for leading the gang from state prison, he received a life sentence. In the speech by Larry Hoover Jr., he thanks Kanye West for helping make a request, to pardon his father, to the attention of then-president Donald Trump.
This 11-minute track has a lot to unpack and chew down. What are your thoughts on the song? Let us know in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.