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Kanye West’s “Jesus Is King” - Gospel Album or Publicity Stunt?

November 14, 2019 15:21

On September 27th, Kanye West finally released his album “Jesus Is King”. At first, we were promised a “Yandi” album but after Kanye had a revelation and found God we are now blessed with a Gospel album. I can’t say that I’m not surprised it was actually released on September 27th as promised. The album includes the traditional organ that is essential for a good gospel feel, a choir belting out unreachable notes and titles very obviously addressing worship. He included all the “must-haves” of a traditional gospel album. However, the lyrics aren’t necessarily on this same level. I am personally someone who believes in expressing your faith and spirituality however you please, considering that faith doesn’t always mean chaining yourself to a specific religion. During this time of label freedom we can’t tell someone they are expressing themselves in the wrong way. Even though Kanye has labeled himself as a Christian he expresses his faith is an unconfined manner. Nevertheless, I can’t say I’m not skeptical.

Simply due to the fact that Kanye has done and said many outrageous things in the past, releasing a gospel album that doesn’t only address his faith but also the struggle of the black community has me left somewhat torn. I do believe the actual production of the album is excellent. I have never doubted Kanye’s ability to create good music. The only thing I have questioned is his sanity. In his song, “Hands On” he talks about police violence targeted towards the black community. I’m always grateful for anyone shining light on this ongoing issue but coming from Kanye I’m not sure if the black community will see him as a spokesperson. The song also touches on the 13th Amendment which to me was the most surprising part of the album. The 13th Amendment is known as the part of the constitution that freed the slaves. We all recall Kanye mentioning how he believes “slavery was a choice” so how come he’s talking about the 13th Amendment when he doesn’t even believe we were truly enslaved? Throughout the album, he makes multiple references to this topic. When I hear him preaching about these things now all I can think of is how he completely disregarded the struggle of our ancestors that affects society to this day. I understand that separation between art and artist is important but his harsh words still echo in the black community to this day and they are hard to just shake off.

Many believe that this album is a clean slate for Kanye. A new beginning. He found his faith and has made groundbreaking revelations in his life that have brought him to create this album representing this change. Whether this is true or just simply a publicity stunt to clean up his reputation the things he has said are not erased from my memory. Nonetheless, Kanye is still an artist to me whether I agree with his art or not he does have the ability to create good music. I believe people should give it a listen and create their own opinion about the album itself.

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The employees in the boutiques, in the design studio and in the backstage area at fashion shows wear white lab coats, as was common in the ateliers of the great couturiers, e.g. Christian Dior, and is still common today. The fashion shows for the high-priced fashion sometimes took place in the context of the Paris Prêt-à-porter shows in unconventional locations, up to shabby surroundings (construction site, metro station, dining room of the Salvation Army etc.). The boutiques are kept in plain white and gray. Margiela originally selected unspectacular locations such as a residential area in Tokyo and did not publish the addresses of the boutiques in order to require the customer to make an effort to find the store at all. The first Margiela store opened in Tokyo in 2000 and the first European boutique was inaugurated in Brussels in 2002. In 2008, a boutique opened in a basement on the edge of Munich's Maximilianstrasse. This was followed by participation in numerous exhibitions, including "Radical Fashion", which was shown in 2001 at the V&A Museum in London. In 2010 there were 36 own stores worldwide.  In 2015 there were over 50 stores worldwide, including boutiques, that only carry the MM6 collection.

The company followed a very restrictive communication policy. The designer can neither be photographed nor interviewed. Only his creations should speak for themselves and the designs should be perceived as the overall performance of the team. That's why the team always shows up in white doctor's coats after the fashion shows - nobody should stand out.

By recycling old fashion, separating, recoloring, reversing seams and zippers, both the origin and the artificial of the art of tailoring are shown. Margiela puts together what doesn't belong together: by hand, jeans turn into skirts, old army socks become pullovers. Baptized by the press as deconstructivism, this current is defined by an abrupt collision of different materials, which at first glance appear inharmonic in the sense of conventional viewing habits. Margiela herself rejects the term "deconstructivism". He resurrected clothes in a new form, he told ELLE in 1991.

Margiela was the unofficial 7th member of "Antwerp 6", a generation of fashion designers who all completed their training at the Royal Academy of Arts between 1980-1981 and shaped the "style of the Belgians". However, it does not belong to the actual group, but it became known in a similar period.

The Japanese "Street Magazine" dedicated two special editions to "Maison Martin Margiela", which were published in book form in 1999. Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga) is a big fan of Maison Martin Margiela.

In July 2014, fashion critic Suzy Menkes exposed Matthieu Blazy via Instagram as Head of Design, after which he deleted his Instagram account and changed his profile in a career network. He left the company on October 1, 2014.

To this day, Margiela pieces, especially in the fashion industry and all fashion lovers, belong to the sanctuaries in every repertoire and archive. Getting vintage pieces from other designers may be possible, but Maison Martin Marginal Archives are a real hunt and that says it all about this art.