Textual Analysis Of The Song Jesus Walks By Kanye West

1388 Words6 Pages
The song, Jesus Walks by Kanye West, is the fourth single of his debut album, "College Dropout". This song was critically acclaimed as one of the best hip hop songs of the decade. The single was released on May 25, 2004 and a trilogy of music videos for the song were released less than a month later. Of the three music videos created for this single, the third music video was produced on the least amount of money, $40,000 as compared to the $500,000 used to create the other two music videos. The $40,000 was completely paid for out of West's own pockets. This music video is often referred to as the most humorous video of the trilogy. He heavily participated in the direction and creation of the third music video in order to support a non-traditional…show more content…
The white man with the beard is not the physical Jesus Christ walking in the flesh. West is using this image of Christ to demonstrate a sort of “shoulder angel” who guides people in the just and right direction. The image of Christ is simply a symbol for the faith that compels West to act in a “divine” manner. Jesus Christ did not create food out of thin air to give to the homeless and poor family illustrated in the music video. West’s faith gave him the idea to buy food for the family using his own immense personal wealth. Jesus Christ did not heal the injured man in the music video. West’s faith encouraged him to pay for the health care and fees that the family was not able to afford. Jesus Christ did not “walk” with West through spontaneous and abrupt appearances in the music video, but instead continually resides within West’s soul as a driving force for good. Throughout this video, there are numerous instances where West appears to be rude of dismissive to Christ. From the very beginning of the music video, West tries to avoid Christ by running past him as he sleeps at the kitchen table. His negative disposition towards Christ is representative of humanity’s general lack of appreciation and understanding of Christ’s blessings. About a minute into the music video, the music video portrays Christian imagery through stained glass, dashboard bobble heads, and a graffiti Virgin Mary. Strategically…show more content…
The lyrics, “To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers, even the strippers (Jesus walks with them),” he raps, “to the victims of welfare living here in hell, yeah (Jesus walks with them).” In these lyrics, West is reminding us that although we typically look down on these types of people within society, these types of people are essentially the same type of people who Jesus Christ himself associated with during his time here on mortal earth. Even the apostles and disciples whom Jesus called his friends and kept by his side were women, tax collectors, prostitutes, and fishermen. Christ actively engaged with the outcasts of his society. West’s repeated lyrical plea, “God show me the way”, is a call for liberation from both sides of society, because both sides have sinned. However, West recognizes his own recognition of his own inability to bring healing onto his own brokenness, “Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method. They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us.” In the final verse of the song, West raps, "But if I talk about God my record won't get played Huh? / Well let this take away from my spins / Which will probably take away from my ends / Then I hope this take away from my sins". To summarize, West is stating that if this song causes him to lose

    More about Textual Analysis Of The Song Jesus Walks By Kanye West

      Open Document