A realization came to me a few days ago while listening to an old mixtape I threw together in 8th grade. Amidst the odd collection of “Work It”-era Missy, “Ass Like That”-era Eminem, and seven chapters of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet, — before he jumped the shark with that weird through-story about the cheating housewife, a black leprechaun, and Omar from the wire (in a stunning career turn) — there lay Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks”.
If any reminder is necessary, “Jesus” Walks” was a straight-up-and-down hit. That song drilled the screws into Kanye’s pedestal. What’s more, as a “single”, it was a direct reference to an established religious figure. That spells mass-appeal suicide in most PR offices. But, there it is, nestled in between what my 13 year old sensibility had been programmed to deem “pop”.
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