On Wednesday night, October 23, Kanye West took over the Los Angeles Forum for a playback of his new album Jesus Is King and a screening of its accompanying IMAX documentary.
The Face reports that the event was delayed by around an hour as free ticket holders struggled to get into the venue. “Over half the people are not in the building yet,” he reportedly told the crowd. “Can you give us 15 more minutes?” Once inside the building, fans were apparently greeted by a mock African Savanna-like environment created by San Francisco installation artist Meg Webster. Fake reeds and long grass was laid out across the floor of the venue while recordings of crickets and other sounds from nature were piped in. Those spotted in the room included Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Travis Barker of Blink-182.
The Jesus Is King IMAX documentary, directed by "Bound 2" director Nick Knight, was screened first. Clocking in at just over 35 minutes, it is reported that the film focuses mainly on the Sunday Service choir and that Kanye only appears toward the end to perform one song. It seems to be almost exactly the same as the cut The FADER saw earlier this month. (In related Jesus Is King news, Nick Knight, the documentary's director, discussed the movie and a little about Kanye's creative process on a panel at The Weeknd's HXOUSE in Toronto a few days ago. The video is now up on Instagram, and you can watch it here.)
West appeared after the documentary ended sporting a blue Jesus Is King hat, available to purchase on the night for $45. Pitchfork reports that he then played 10 songs from the new album via a handheld device. He stopped just once to formally introduce a song by its name, confirming that the previously titled "Sunday" is now called "Closed On Sunday." Pitchfork also notes that “'New Body features a guest resembling Ty Dolla $ign, but did not appear to contain the previously rumored Nicki Minaj verse." Both members of Clipse, Pusha T, and No Malice, are said to appear on the album's closing song alongside saxophonist Kenny G.
just leaving the kanye west album listening party and i’m 99% sure these are the same hats they use for MAGA hats but in blue pic.twitter.com/1VhueIWKdb— T.J. Petracca (@tjpetracca) October 24, 2019
At the start of this week Kanye West stated that Jesus Is King will be officially released on Friday, October 25, the same day the IMAX documentary hits select theaters.