I was grocery shopping on a Sunday, chilling in my vintage Easter addition Kyrie 2’s…and while waiting in line, decided to scroll through twitter. I open the app and immediately notice that #Kanye was trending higher than #Easter. I shrugged, lamenting on the current status of the world and proceeded to buy my food. I get home and out of sheer FOMO decided to check twitter again, just to make sure Ye’ didn’t jump off of a building or something. Then I saw it. Up and down my entire timeline, “Kanye West is streaming Sunday Service from Coachella!” I had to see this.
For the uniformed, #SundayService is a musical series that Kanye West has been performing for a small group of friends every weekend on a (very aesthetically pleasing) grassy knoll somewhere in California. He performs updated versions of traditional gospel songs and rearranged versions of his own catalog, all with a full gospel choir in tow. If you follow any of Ye’s homies online, Teyana Taylor for example, you were able to catch glimpses of the performances via IG live clips. However, the concept has never been captured in it’s entirety or formally presented…until now.
This performance was a big deal for two main reasons. The first being that, the very people who cancelled Kanye aka his core fanbase on the internet were responding positively to the teaser clips shared in previous weeks. They were opening up to Kanye as he delved back into his spiritual side. The musical selections were reminiscent of the soulful genius that people fell in love with. The second reason that this surprise and, random stream of Sunday Service was a big deal, because Coachella announced that Kanye West had pulled out of the festival, due to the inability for them to meet the creative demands of his stage show. So when the stream popped up (as a pinhole camera mind you) it was a shock to everyone!
Despite the weird, limiting circle cropped, viewfinder, you were able to quickly get over that, as several members of the choir had their moment to shine with solos throughout the more traditional gospel songs. Yeezy brought along his celebrity friends too, as Teyana Taylor covered Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would’ve Made It”. Ty $ assisted on a yet to be released and powerful single, “Water” and Chance the rapper caught the holy ghost during “Ultra-Light Beam” No lie I almost shed a single tear as the legend, DMX led all of Coachella in one of his trademark prayers. Kanye himself wept after that moment on camera in the arms of X and long time mentee Kid Cudi. If you know the ups and downs of those three artists’ careers and their collective issues with mental health; Then you know that this was a moment! However, there was some drawback online as the entire choir was decked out in YEEZY season 4 and people were saying that this was a ploy to simply sell merchandise. It is a valid point, but the music super-ceded the marketing by far. The performance was honest and pure and desperately seemed like Kanye’s call for the fans to take him back. (*Society took back Chris Brown after he did a flip and cried on the BET awards and this was way better so…)
2018 was the year of Beychella and after this spiritual, emotional, show stopping performance; Easter Sunday 2019 has officially been dubbed “YEchella”! — 100 K!