“Heaven and Hell” is the fourteenth track on Kanye West’s 2021 album ‘DONDA.’ The song has one verse by Kanye West which contrasts his life between the metaphors of heaven and hell on Earth. Let’s explore the meaning of the song in detail.
‘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.
The intro to the track interpolates a song by 20th Century Steel Band’s 1975 song “Heaven and Hell is on Earth.”
Listen to “Heaven and Hell” by Kanye West
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Kanye West “Heaven and Hell” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
These lyrics by 20th Century Steel Band talk about the supposed ‘hell’ on Earth. We are all rats caught in a rat race–study, work, make children, and die. The band also contrasts between the righteous path and the devilish paths one can choose to live this life; “Men go work and some go stealing.” At the end of the day, everybody does all of this to survive until we run out of breath.
In the only verse of the song, Kanye seems to compare his life to heaven on Earth, a contrast to the intro of the song. Kanye West is at the top of the music game with countless brand deals and owning his own brands. Money is not an issue to him anymore. He also seems to have found God in his heart, which is apparent all throughout this album and the previous album ‘JESUS IS KING.’
At this point of fame, Kanye needs no promo to release an album. He barely promoted the ‘DONDA’ album despite the live listening parties he held. Promo comes automatically at this point. He doesn’t have to do talk shows, interviews, appear in magazines, or pay publicists to promote his music. Even the ‘DONDA’ album artwork ended up being just a black background. He compares himself to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. Although this might not be a very realistic comparison, we get the idea.
Ye settles into a religious theme towards the latter part of the verse. He says that Lord sees everything and everyone. If you have been a sinner, it is still not too late for you to be saved. This life is yours and you own the script for it. But write your script with footnote credits to Lord. Keep Him in mind at all times.
Ye says that the level of life he has achieved now, it is impossible for him to fail now–both commercially and with his faith. He seems to be cruising ahead on both of these ends. This is the level of life when the devil prays you.
Kanye also says that every day we live in this world is a blessing by God. So continue to pray for fresh breath tomorrow. Continue to pray for new opportunities tomorrow. Kanye wants everyone to hear his music and be moved by them to do the right thing.
What do you think about this song? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.