Kanye West is getting political with old-time religion in his latest music video for new song ‘Wash Us in the Blood.’
The ‘Jesus Is King’ rapper and singer premiered his new video for the single, directed by Arthur Jafa and mixed by Dr. Dre, featuring Travis Scott, on June 30.
The influence of the current political climate in America following the death of George Floyd in police custody is evident throughout the nearly four-minute clip.
Here’s what you need to know.
Kanye West Addresses the Current Climate of Unrest in America in ‘Wash Us in the Blood’
WASH US IN THE BLOOD
FROM THE FORTHCOMING ALBUM GOD'S COUNTRY
— ye (@kanyewest) June 29, 2020
Kanye West’s creative muse has clearly been sparked by the current protests in the U.S. and divisions along racial and political lines.
The video for ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ opens at an unidentified protest. A white police officer squares off with a Black man before the camera cuts to a Black officer walking towards a squad car.
Other images in the video show Black people covered in blood wearing masks and oxygen masks as they seemingly struggle for air.
A voice can be heard chanting ‘give us the blood,’ while Kanye speaks ‘genocide, what it does/ slavery, what it does/ I grew up in the mud’ over the footage.
The lyrics to the song, as listed on Rap Genius, read in part, “Rain down on a pain/ Rain down on the slain/ Rain down for my mom/ Rain down on the farm/ Shower us with your love/ Wash us in the blood.”
The video also contains footage from West’s Sunday service rehearsals, with West’s daughter North making a brief appearance at the end, according to Pitchfork.
The video “cuts together footage of police brutality, Breonna Taylor dancing, Parliament-Funkadelic-esque Afro-futurism, people wearing masks and struggling to breathe, and a gospel choir, among other things,” Vulture says.
What Does ‘Wash Us In the Blood’ Mean?
‘Wash Us in the Blood’ is a single from Kanye West’s new album “‘God’s Country’ … his first new full-length since 2019’s back-to-back gospel projects ‘Jesus Is King,’ and his Sunday Service Choir’s album ‘Jesus Is Born,'” according to ABC.
West first discussed his new album in an interview with GQ magazine in April.
GQ described the song’s musical style as “hard drums and Yeezus-like industrial horror noises,” and of its lyrical content, said “as with ‘Jesus Is King,’ all of the songs, regardless of their sonic quality, are worship songs—Christian rap, if you will—of an altogether unprecedented sort.”
Rolling Stone called the music video “chilling,” and said “the scrappy, screechy single sounds like the child of a nail grating on the chalkboard and a police siren.”
West’s music underwent a major directional shift following his public announcement of his conversion to Christianity in 2019. He told GQ magazine:
I surrounded myself with the healing—the highest-level healing possible: singing about Jesus with my friends and family surrounding me [at Sunday Service] every single week. This was a place, contrary to popular belief about Christianity, of no judgment. I feel that the church that most people grew up on as kids had a negative environment. The greatest thing for me, as someone who’s given their life to Christ, is knowing that other people have that as an anchor and a form of healing.
The term “wash us in the blood” is steeped in biblical imagery. The new testament of the bible, in 1 John 1:7, says “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin,” and there are many other biblical scriptures concerned with the healing power of the blood of Jesus.
Kanye West Tweeted He Was ‘So Proud’ Of Wife Kim Kardashian for Becoming a Billionaire
I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire
You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family
So blessed this is still life
So I made you this still life
We love you so much pic.twitter.com/Vvtgzodnah
— ye (@kanyewest) June 30, 2020
On June 30, West took to Twitter to congratulate his wife of seven years, Kim Kardashian, on “officially becoming a billionaire.”
However, Forbes said Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty cosmetics company is worth “$1 billion, making Kardashian West worth about $900 million.”
Posting a photo of a still-life arrangement of assorted flowers and vegetables, West wrote, “I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire. You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family. So blessed this is still life. So I made you this still life. We love you so much.”
The couple were married at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy, on May 24 2014, and have four children together.