Don’t wait up for Kanye.
Kanye West fans learned that the hard way — again — on Thursday night as Jesus Is King, the new album that the rapper-producer-celebrity promised to release at the stroke of midnight, failed to materialize.
It’s happened before. The gospel-rap Jesus Is King — which may or may not be an updated version of the unreleased Yandhi (that’s Gandhi, Kanye-ized) that was expected in 2018 — was first announced for a Sept. 27 debut by Kim Kardashian-West, then delayed until Sept. 29, when it was allegedly “definitely” coming out.
In the month since, West watchers gave up waiting. But this past Sunday night, the hip-hop auteur returned to Twitter to announce a new Oct. 25 release date for the album.
Jesus is King is expected to be the in-the-studio manifestation of the Sunday Service events West has been staging around the country this year after alienating much of his fan base in 2018 with his MAGA hat and full-throated support of Donald Trump, as well as comments about slavery being “a choice.”
This time, the album’s release really did seem imminent. West staged a listening party on Wednesday in Los Angeles, and did a two-hour interview with Apple Music Beats 1 radio’s Zane Lowe, in which he said he was “the greatest artist in human existence,” that he had banned anyone working on the album from having premarital sex, and that he will release another album, Jesus is Born, on Christmas day.
On Thursday night, he tweeted out the album tack list, and confirmed it was coming at midnight. And when the clock struck 12 on the East Coast, he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, in an appearance taped in Brooklyn earlier in the day, acting like the album was out already.
But it wasn’t, and social media was soon filling up with memes mocking anyone so naive to think that West was actually going to deliver the goods in a timely fashion. At 1:18 a.m., he thanked his fans for their patience, and said he and his team were “fixing” mixes on the songs “Everything We Need,” “Follow God,” and “Water.”
“We’re not going to sleep until this album is out!” he wrote.
Presumably, he’s still awake.