Kanye West debuted several new songs for his highly anticipated album Yeezus at New York City's Governors Ball Music Festival on Sunday. But the track that has everyone abuzz is called “I Am a God.”
The entertainer says in the song, “I am a god/Even though I'm a man of God/My whole life in the hands of God/So y'all better quit playing with God.”
Later in the song he raps, “I just talked to Jesus/He said, 'What up, Yeezus?'”
Last month Kirk Cameron's sister, Candace Cameron Bure, criticized West for his lack of “humility” in “comparing himself to Jesus.”
“That is way too close,” the devout Christian reportedly told Sway on Sway in the Morning after the album title was released. “It totally bugs me. I have issues with that.”
The former Full House actress continued, saying, “There’s a million other names out there. … And you could have chosen one that is not one letter off from Jesus. … He’s actually comparing himself to Jesus. Really?! Should any of us be doing that?! Maybe you should change your name to ‘Uda!’”
Others, like columnist Rashad Drakeford, disagree that Kanye is being blasphemous.
“Some say Kanye uses religion as a tool for reaction and attention but I tend to disagree with this position,” Drakeford writes, claiming that West “recognizes the power of the Almighty” in “I Am a God.”
Drakeford continues, writing, “I see Kanye West as a human being who sees himself created in the image of God and unapologetically brings that to life.”
But Bure said West lacks a humility Christians should have.
“I think it’s more, it comes from a humility point of view. That I would be humbled enough for what Jesus did for me that I don’t want to in any way elevate myself or put myself side by side,” she said. “Because I’m humbled by His gratitude.”
This is not the first time West has mentioned Jesus in his songs. His breakout single, “Jesus Walks,” put him on the map in 2004 and led to a Grammy win.
Other icons have also referred to themselves as “god,” but West has continuously upset Christians with his comparisons to Jesus. A 2006 edition of Rolling Stone featured West on the cover depicted as Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns and sporting a bloodied face for the story titled “The Passion of Kanye West.”
In a 2009 interview with Bossip, West reportedly said he was raised in a Christian household, but he referred to Jesus as an icon.
“I believe in Jesus as an icon, but I don’t feel the responsibility to put my life on Jesus. I feel I need to take responsibility for my own successes and failures,” he said.
“Christianity is embedded in who I am,” he continued, “so I will still say things like this is a blessing, amen, and still say prayers; things that your Grandmother embedded in you.
Yeezus, West's sixth album, will release on June 18. Another song on the album is causing controversy. In addition to “I Am a God,” the rapper performed “Black Skinheads” while sinister-looking background dancers pranced around in black KKK-style hoods.
“Black Skinheads” also includes religious taunts, with lyrics like, “If I don't get ran out by Catholics/Here come some conservative Baptists/Saying he overreacting.”
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!