We are days away from the release of Kanye West’s new album Jesus Is King. The album has been in the works since 2018, and has been the victim of numerous delays and internet leaks. It is tentatively scheduled to come out on Friday, September 27.
Given that Jesus Is King has had lots of time to gestate and evolve, there are dozens of artists who are said to have contributed production and guest verses. Since we’re on the brink of its release, we’ve decided to break down all the artists who are rumored to appear on the final tracklist.
Ant Clemons is West’s most notable collaborator on Jesus Is King. The singer and songwriter may not be as famous as some of his peers, but his fingerprints are all over the album and its core tracks, “Garden” and “Water.” Clemons and West previously worked together on the song “All Mine,” which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Clemons hails from New Jersey, and has been a fan of West ever since he was a teenager. ”Kanye’s music always motivated and pushed my creativity to another level,” he told Genius. “From his sample crafting to his sonic manipulation, to his performance presence. Graduation was one of the first CDs I bought with my first Burger King check. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was the soundtrack to every car ride anywhere I was going… So you can only imagine how ecstatic and honored I am to have worked with one of my biggest inspirations.”
Ty Dolla $ign
Ty Dolla $ign will be featured alongside Clemons on the track “Water.” Ty has been a longtime Kanye West collaborator, appearing on select tracks from 2016’s The Life of Pablo and 2018’s Ye. The artists have even discussed the possibility of recording a joint album together.
West talked about his sonic chemistry with Ty during an interview with Power 106’s The Cruz Show. “That’s one of the best combinations ever. Yeah, definitely. I’m just trying to go week after week and improve on the craft,” he said. “Ty is one of the strongest artists we have living and anything I can do to support, get around, produce, take my hands and chop up I’m with it.”
2 Chainz and West have a strong track record, with hits like “Mercy” and “Birthday Song” under their belt. It should then be no surprise that Chainz was among the artists who were invited to West’s recording sessions in Miami. TMZ reports that Chainz joined Timbaland and YNW Melly to work on new material with West, though it remains to be seen whether their contributions will make the final mix of the album.
A feature that nobody expected. Kenny G, saxophone extraordinaire, recently told the Dallas Observer that he has been working on new music with West. “We’ve actually been in the studio working on some music together,” he revealed. “I can’t really say much else because he doesn’t really want anyone to talk about music before he releases it. Just suffice to say that we’re collaborating on some things, and nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
Kenny G would certainly be a surprise, but West has shown a propensity for working with unexpected artists in the past. He enlisted the help of Elton John on the 2010 track “All of the Lights,” and worked with Beatle Paul McCartney on a trio of songs in 2014/15.
Nicki Minaj was confirmed to appear on Yandhi before it was scrapped. It remains to be seen whether she will contribute a verse to the new album, but she remains close with West and has spoken at length about the recording sessions. Minaj recently announced that she is retiring from the music business, so a guest verse on Jesus Is King may prove especially poignant. Only time will tell.
Minaj also has a storied past with West, as she rapped on his 2010 single “Monster” and provided a spoken word outro on 2018’s “Violent Crimes.” The latter is generally considered to be her shining moment as an emcee, as she bests heavyweights like West, Rick Ross and Jay-Z.