Rapper-turned-gospel artist Kanye West announced on social media on Monday that he will be teaming up with Dr. Dre — who is considered a pioneer in “gangsta rap” and is known for producing vile acts such as NWA, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent — to produce his second gospel album.
“Ye and Dre ‘Jesus is King Part II’ coming soon,” he wrote, sharing an image of the two together in the studio.
Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, is known for co-founding the profane rap group NWA in the 1980s. NWA raised controversy over its tune “[Expletive] Tha Police,” which some believed could incite violence among African American youth against law enforcement.
“Ice Cube will swarm on any [expletive] in a blue uniform/Just ‘cause I’m from the CPT punk police are afraid of me/Huh, a young n*gg* on the warpath, and when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath/Of cops, dying in L.A/Yo, Dre, I got something to say,” the song threatened.
Dre went on to found Death Row Records in the 90s and produced music from rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Tupac Skaker, Eminem and 50 Cent. He has also recorded his own albums, including his most recent, “Compton: A Soundtrack,” which was released in 2015.
In 2010, West praised Dre in Rolling Stone, stating that the music producer believes that God placed him on earth to make music.
“Do hip-hop producers hold Dr. Dre in high esteem? It’s like asking a Christian if he believes Christ died for his sins,” he wrote. “Dre has a whole coast on his back. He discovered Snoop — one of the two greatest living rappers, along with Jay-Z — and signed Eminem, 50 Cent and the Game.”
“He takes artists with great potential and makes them even better. I wonder where I’d be right now if Dre had discovered me.”
“I first met Dre in December of 2003. He asked me to produce a track for the Game. At first I was star-struck, but within 30 minutes I was begging him to mix my next album,” West continued. “He’s the definition of a true talent: Dre feels like God placed him here to make music, and no matter what forces are aligned against him, he always ends up on the mountaintop.”
As previously reported, West, who recently launched a weekly “Sunday Service” tour and released his first gospel album “Jesus Is King,” appeared at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday, speaking on stage during the 11 a.m. service and performing during the 7 p.m. young adult service. He and his choir held a concert for inmates at the Harris County Jail on Friday.
In expressing his desire to work for Jesus, West told the audience at Lakewood that he would be releasing music every month and that he believes he is bringing “the most fire producers … back to God.”
“It’s like the devil stole all the good producers, the devil stole all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers, all the good business people, and said, ‘You gotta come over and work for me,'” West stated. “And now, the trend, the shift, is going to change. Jesus has won the victory.”
Jason White, West’s choir director and the former music director for the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, recently told Rolling Stone that choir member Nikki Grier, who had previously worked with Dr. Dre, helped to re-write some of West’s secular songs to be spiritual in nature.
“We had this girl I had hired to sing with me for the longest time; her name is Nikki Grier. I didn’t even know she’s a lyricist that worked with Dr. Dre, with so many different artists — Busta Rhymes. I was hiring her just to sing. I pulled her from the top of the choir stand, she went in with Mr. West and just started re-writing dope lyrics,” he said.
“I so admired [West] — the stance he was taking. He wanted to do godly music, Christian music. He wanted to change all of his songs,” White stated. “We started out re-writing ‘Ghost Town,’ then ‘Lift Yourself’ [and] other songs from his records. That was the beginning of Sunday Service.”
West’s announcement on Monday that he was collaborating with Dr. Dre for his next gospel album drew mixed response from followers.
“A sad day in hip hop,” one wrote.
“So dope! Wow! Two my favorites! This is so epic to me; I’m like a kid in a candy shop! Let’s go!” another stated.
“Wow. If you get Dre to repent and do a gospel album, that would be CRAZY?!?!” a third remarked.
West’s previous explicit and sexually suggestive videos, such as “Fade,” “Flashing Lights” and “Gold Digger,” remain on his YouTube channel.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 reads, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'”
“‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord, ‘And touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,’ saith the Lord Almighty.”