Any organization that has endured the test of time would tell you that reinvention is the master key to longevity and continued relevance. Just ask companies like Apple, Coke, McCafe, I mean McDonald’s or even Polaroid or Kodak who are trying to get into the mobile phone accessory realm and you’ll see what I mean. And this is something that I think Kanye West, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer, has mastered. Conscious of it or not, he is tapped into how the majority of us humans imprint information onto our minds in order for us to feel bought into an idea, concept, or personality. He is predictably unpredictable and unpredictability is something that humans have a difficult time turning their heads away from.
When my friend asked me if I was going to check out the new Yeezy album, Jesus Is King, I told him that I didn’t want to look at it or care about it because I can see what Kanye is doing and I don’t want to participate in it. But here I am writing a post anyway. I told you this guy was a master.
You see, Kanye always knew he was going to come out with an album like Jesus Is King. He started preparing us for this since I’ll Fly Away and Jesus Walks on his College Dropout album. But he knew, like other artists before him that if he dropped an album like this from the beginning, he would be pigeonholed and never have the opportunity to connect with as many people as he has by dropping this album later in his career. If he started with Jesus is King and then went on to do some of the other types of music, he would have been seen as falling from grace or selling out his faith. Or worse than that, he would have drawn the ire of Christians who would have felt a sense of loss if he seemed to be going “mainstream”.
But by going the route that he has, he now can hold on to a large contingent of his original fanbase, he cracked the MAGA Code (meaning he has access to the Evangelicals who would be interested in his music), and he has the adoration of those kinds of Christians and Christian artists who feel justified when people who are seen as start saying the name of Jesus openly.
I’m not trying to be funny when I say this. It is just natural for people to get excited when the cool kid joins their team. And Christians are in no way immune to that. And the thing about it is now that he has come out as giving his life to Jesus, most people will give him a pass for any indiscretions he might have going forward as opposed to if he came out like a Lecrae or Andy Mineo. Let them mess up and see how everyone comes down on them. Genius.
You see what Yeezy has deployed is a long-range marketing plan that will consist of revelations at intervals that will extend over a certain length of time. At least we will experience them as revelations. But Kanye is already years ahead of us and knows what he’s doing. Best believe that not too long from now that he will release some project that is born out of the struggle of trying to live as a follower of Jesus that will feel like a departure from Jesus Is King. But not too far that it distances him from his expanded base. Chances are that part of the drama will be that Kim K. is somehow keeping him from fully living into that life. But don’t worry, it is all a part of the plan. She will play the bad one for a moment. Then some people will look at Kanye as being the bad guy for trying to change her. Then she will then come to realize that she agrees with him and will reinvent herself as a figure worthy of being considered “First Lady” material. and as it all unfolds, they will hold our attention.
Now you might think that I am being doubtful or critical of the West conversion experience. I am not. I have just been paying attention to the pretty systematic and strategic way that people release changes while trying to hold on to the bulk of their followers or base. They have been dropping clues that this was coming for so long now—years even. And I am just pointing out that it is good marketing.
If you want check out some articles just for the sake of seeing how this is unfolding, see below.
I’ll admit that ultimately, it could be that I am completely off base here. Maybe there is no strategy at play here. And if there is, I am not saying that is it is nefarious. If anything, they are being wise, if I am correct. But for the sake of argument, let’s just say that Ye is the genius that I am suggesting he is, wouldn’t you want to pay attention. So let’s just do that and see how much longer the West/Kardashians hold our attention. My prediction is that more will be revealed.