Kanye West recently dropped a track featuring Travis Scott that’s named “Wash Us In The Blood”. It’s his first music release since "Jesus Is Born" was released last Christmas.
Kanye had previously disappointed some fans in “Jesus Is Born” by not rapping, which is what often makes people willing to put up with the egotistical artist, although “Jesus Is Born” was fine in many other regards.
In “Wash Us In The Blood”, however, Kanye gets back to his usual rapping, something fans were hoping for. With beating drums, siren sounds, and an industrial backing that permeates the entire song, "Wash Us In The Blood" is a nice return to the old Kanye (at least sonically). He went back to putting out music which both refreshes and scares; refreshes because your head bumps along to a beat that belongs in a club, and scares because the lyrics invoke apocalyptic imagery.
For this song, that imagery is matched almost perfectly by the music video accompanying the track, a cinematic masterpiece that showcases police brutality, augmented reality, the ongoing global pandemic, previous Kanye tour footage, and more. The video was directed by Arthur Jafa. During my first listen, I thoroughly enjoyed the music video in addition to Kanye’s rapping, with his unmistakable flow and charisma fully present. Travis Scott’s feature also went well, and the outro was good.
But then I listened to Wash Us In The Blood again. I read the lyrics after doing so, and then played it again. I was, and still am, disappointed. I expect a lot from Kanye. His music is (usually) good; lyrically, he’s both cutting and poignant, and his swagger is unmatched.
I was concerned about Kanye after "Jesus Is King." I was even more concerned after "Jesus Is Born." Most fans of Jesus, who continually profess their love for Jesus to everyone they meet, are pretty annoying. That was seemingly the road Kanye was on. I also felt like the music Kanye was putting out was continually lesser in quality.
Then he went more quiet than usual for the last couple months. I thought maybe he was working through his intense-devotion-to-Jesus phase. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case; he just took a bit of a break to work on a song that basically advocates for an endorsement of Jesus as the only thing possible to saving the world.
Kanye, are you serious?
A global pandemic, police brutality, mass unrest, and more. Kanye’s lyrics overshadowed all of that and focused on Jesus, no one liking the real Kanye, and the United States executing prisoners. How can he possibly be so tone deaf to recent events?
I’m not asking him to directly make a statement on any of the things I mentioned; Kanye doesn’t need to take a political side or even give his take. But Kanye being aware of what’s going on in our world, and then incorporating what he saw into his art would make for more impactful creations.
Furthermore, the Jesus schtick gets old. In the two thousand years since he was crucified, he’s continually been used as a way to shed personal responsibility. Actions aimed at helping the world are deemed innately sinful; Jesus is the only one who can make things better. Kanye borrows this line of reasoning, espouses it, and profits from it, the money going right into his pockets.
In terms of him rapping about how it’s wrong to execute prisoners, I wonder if Kanye remembers the first book of the Bible, Genesis. It directly says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image."
Everything considered, this song sucks. I can’t believe Kanye chose to release this song right now. I give it 1.01 out of 5 swoops.