When it comes to the classics, some things are sacred. But, as any keen observer will note with some irony, little is sacred to the holy, and in a sound effort to discredit not just himself but religion in general to a swathe of Gen-Xers, eccentric rapper Kanye West has led his gospel choir in ’90s Grunge song at their latest gathering.
Filmed by camera-loving wife Kim Kardashian West, and posted to her Instagram stories, the Sunday Service choir can be heard singing 1991 bangers “Come As You Are” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, albeit heavily bastardised versions, lyrically speaking, to fit in with the choir’s pious narrative that the lord with saveth, etc, etc.
Religion has always played a hand in Yeezy’s work, partly because the cultural icon loves Jesus, and also partly because he loves himself, probably because he thinks that he is Jesus. His 2004 recording “Jesus Walks” proved to be a breakthrough hit for the artist-turned-producer-turned-rapper, and he has talked openly about his faith during many interviews (though has never proved to possess a firm grasp on theological constructs.)
West’s choir also covered No Doubt’s 1995 breakup anthem “Don’t Speak”, prompting a thank-you tweet from lead singer Gwen Stefani, who, to this day, maintains that she ain’t no hollaback girl. And according to wife Kim’s Insta stories, the group also do a mean rendition of Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, which has about as much religious relevance as a used bus ticket.
My heart is so full hearing this incredible version of Don’t Speak/ Lord Speaks- I’m in shock hearing this song turned into a worship song at Kanye’s Sunday Service – I literally started crying ? thank u @KimKardashian Please send me whole version Kanye #dontwasteyourpain ????? pic.twitter.com/wEwvKfJajv
— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) July 25, 2019
True Nirvana fans will weep, Kanye fans will rejoice, and most people probably won’t give a tinker’s cuss about this latest move from the Hollywood power couple. But one thing is certain about everybody’s favourite madman/genius: Cobain wasn’t wrong in his original lyrics; there’s a lot to said about being both stupid and contagious.