Kanye West is known for being shamelessly vocal about his opinions, whether on music (his own or someone else’s), fashion, culture, and even religion. It’s the latter that came into play during a performance of his 2004 single “Jesus Walks” in Utah this week, as a subtle change in lyrics seems to indicate a huge change in his way of thinking.
The rapper, who has been hosting “Soul Sunday” church services full of gospel music and scripture reading in the Los Angeles area for months now, took his evangelism to Utah on Saturday, October 5 to spread the good word and perform one of his biggest hits—video of which drew attention on Twitter after one user noticed the shift in tone.
I'm just gonna leave this here for you to do with it what you will.— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) October 7, 2019
First half of the clip: Kanye performing his hit "Jesus Walks" at the 2005 Grammys (original lyrics).
Second half: Last night in SLC.
Notice a difference? pic.twitter.com/hmHtXK0bHw
While a line in the original version of Jesus Walks says “I ain’t here to argue about his facial features or here to convert atheists into believers,” West instead sang, “I ain’t here to argue about his facial features. We here to turn atheists into believers.”
It’s a very minor change, one you almost wouldn’t notice if you weren’t paying attention, but of course somebody was.
I am here for a Christ following @kanyewest and I pray he continues to bring more people to the knowledge of the savior! What you think @TalksWithMikeB - Rev #preachon #KanyeWest #revnkingshow #wordofgod https://t.co/kixg900ddL— TheRevNKingShow (@TheRevNKingSho1) October 8, 2019
PRAISE GOD! https://t.co/tktu7knC18— Dennis Crawford (@DCInferno) October 8, 2019
Intriguing and interesting. I'll be praying for @kanyewest and @justinbieber. In the words of another #WestCoast singer "#JesusLovesYa".https://t.co/RWvI6Y2ECX @jonrobertgibson & @MCHammer did this one: https://t.co/N5cVfWAYnb 👍👍😎☝️☝️☝️🎤#360Turn #UTurn #TheBetterWay #Yeshua https://t.co/YjoAsewxzI— Rand H.ن (@RdH1SW1) October 7, 2019
The idea that West might now be into proselytizing isn’t necessarily revolutionary. We’re still awaiting his upcoming album Jesus Is King, so his move further into religious fanaticism is almost a natural one.
Kanye’s turn to religion seems to be accompanying his relatively recent turn toward MAGA nation, as well.
lmao oh man the new Kanye album is going to suck isn't it pic.twitter.com/mEcJMJP3Hr— jordan (@JordanUhl) October 5, 2019
And of course, he’s free to believe what he wants and share that message how he chooses, but it is interesting to note either way.
Artists change the lyrics of their songs during their live performances all the time. It may mean something, or he might have not even realized.— Ron (@northwesternus) October 7, 2019
Whatever the motivation for West’s recently-found religious fervor, it’s clear that his faith and his desire to help others find it is genuine. Of course, given that not everything he says is entirely logical or even coherent, some have questioned whether West is in an extended period of mania and may be using religion as a funnel for his mental health issues. I’m not a doctor so I wouldn’t deign to comment on that, but I do wish West would at least get back to making good music, no matter the subject.