From Jay Hovah to Yeezus: Why Do Rappers Have God Complexes?

Is Kanye West’s “Yeezus” blasphemous or creative expression at best? Why does it seem that when it comes to rap, that a lot of rappers have God complexes?


“West was my slave name… Yeezus is my God Name.”

These words were uttered out of the mouth of rapper Kanye West at an impromptu listening party last week for his album entitled Yeezus, which dropped today, June 18th.

Kanye was trying to explain his reasons behind giving the name of his 6th studio album such a controversial title.

Many see the naming of his latest album as just Kanye being “Kanye”.  They see it as him pushing the envelope yet again because of his ego, as his ego is world-renowned and it’s larger than life. ‘Yeezus’ is just another way for Kanye to let us all know how great he is.  That he’s basically following in the footsteps of his idol and mentor Jay-Z who began calling himself Jay Hovah many years ago since he has become the “God emcee”.

In many ways “Yeezus” can be seen as Kanye paying homage to Jay-Z since it’s no secret that Kanye views Jay like somewhat of a big brother/father figure, and with Jesus Christ being the son of God, what better way to show his appreciation and admiration of his “father” Jay Hovah than to call himself “Yeezus”?

Is there a fine line between blasphemy and creative expression.  If so, Kanye might have finally crossed the line that he’s been straddling for years as so many others have done before him and still do.

God complexes and hip-hop go hand in hand for some reason that I can’t quite grasp my mind around. I never understood how or why a person who claims that they believe in God, such as Kanye, could come up with such blasphemous ways that goes against many of the principal beliefs that defines that religion.

On the song “I am a God”, Kanye raps “I am a god/ Even though I’m a man of God/ My whole life in the hands of God/ So y’all better quit playing with God”.  A walking contradiction if I ever heard or saw one myself.

Kanye is a long removed from the days of “Jesus Walks”. Way back when Kanye aspired to have a rap song that talked about someone’s love for Jesus being played in clubs in the same way that his more club friendly single “Golddigger” might. And he accomplished that. And then some.

“If I talk about God, my record won’t get played” – Kanye West

Well Kanye, it seems that that’s all you’ve been talking about and it actually hasn’t decreased your spins at all.

Looking back at it, it’s almost as if you used “Jesus Walks” as some sort of reverse psychology experiment to sneakily add God to your music so that you can talk about your love for him, I mean yourself, even more.

If you would have told me about 2013 Kanye back in 2004, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Obviously Kanye isn’t the first rapper to refer to themselves as God. Tupac has done so. Tupac at times referred to himself as Christ and  he often toyed with the idea that he would come back like Jesus.  Nas has done so.   One of Nas’ most critically acclaimed albums was called “God’s Son”, and who can forget the extremely blasphemous music video to “Hate Me Now” with Nas and Puffy being crucified on Crosses.

And as I previously mentioned, Jay-Z has done so and continues to do so with no end in sight. Matter of fact, it was just announced that Jay-Z has partnered up with Samsung and is dropping his latest album July 4th entitled “Magna Carta Holy Grail”, a not so subtle reference to Jesus and the Christianity faith. Samsung has already bought one million copies of the album, virtually assuring that Jay-Z has already reached platinum status.

I guess being “god” has its advantages.

And although I understand that being a rapper is one of those professions where appearances mean everything…unfortunately. And that to be the best, you often at times have to proclaim yourself to be the best even if you’re not.

The rap game is also a game of followers, once one rapper proclaims themself to be rap’s Messiah, it doesn’t take long for others to follow, and in that case could this be a misunderstood or misguided fad instead of blasphemy?

Being an emcee means possessing the ability to best all comers lyrically, and rappers often brag about their superior skills. But isn’t there a better way to do this than comparing yourself to God?

When has it become hip to do such a thing?

I get it, that we should all aspire to be “Christ-Like”, but when was it okay for us to portray ourselves as Christ?

I guess that’s the question of the day and I want to hear your thoughts on this below in the comments section.  Do you believe that it is Blasphemous for rappers and other entertainers to use the name of God in such a way, or do you think that this is just part of their creative expression at work?

Sound off below.  Some of the best comments will be featured on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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