Here's What's Really Going On With Kanye West's New Albums Yandhi and Jesus Is King

Here's the bizarre full story of the rapper's infamous unreleased records.

Kanye West’s journey to releasing Yandhi/Jesus is King has been bizarre to say the least. After a busy year, which included his own album Ye, and a number of releases alongside other artists, West announced that he'd release yet another new album in September of 2018. That date has come and gone by an entire calendar year, and in the meantime West has gone through multiple blown release dates, a new religious awakening, and the alleged recording of a new documentary film.

Throughout 2019, Yandhi has taken a back seat to another project called Jesus Is King, which was originally scheduled to be released in September of this year. Neither album has been released. But West continues to make promises to fans amid his Sunday Services and a vow to no longer make secular music. At this point, it appears Kanye is committed to release a documentary film, while snippets of Yandhi have seemingly appeared as iTunes ringtones. It's all pretty much what we've come to expect from Kanye, but here's a timeline of everything that has happened and what is to come (if anything) from the wildly inconsistent artist.

September 17, 2018—The album announcement

West announced his album, Yandhi with artwork on social media.


Sept. 28, 2018—Original release day for Yandhi

West took out billboards and advertisements across Los Angeles with the album title and release date appearing in an iMessage. He also tweeted out that he’d be releasing it that Saturday, even though it never came to be.

October 1, 2018—New Release Date for Yandhi via Kim Kardashian-West

Two days after the first release date had passed, Kim Kardashian-West tweeted out the new release date, Black Friday 2018 (November 23). Kanye also mentioned in an interview with TMZ that he would be heading to Africa to finish the album.

October 2018—Migos’ Quavo confirms that he’s guested on Yandhi/Kanye heads to Uganda

That inclusion is another notch in a growing list of collaborators, including Nicki Minaj, XXXTentacion, 6ix9ine, and Ty Dolla $ign. Meanwhile, West headed to Uganda to complete work on Yandhi.

November 12, 2018—Indefinite Push Back

Approximately two weeks before the release date, West tweeted out that after further reflection, the album wouldn’t be ready and he needed to do more work on it.

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January 2019—Kanye and Coachella

After being up for the headlining spot of night one at Coachella, West pulled out of the event, citing that the stage was too small for his performance according to The Guardian.

January 6, 2019—Sunday Service

West started his “Sunday Service” orchestrations, which involves gospel versions of his previous work. During these performances, songs from Yandhi have also been performed. The performances continued, with a special Easter “service” happening at Coachella in April 2019.

August 29, 2019—Jesus is King

In August, Kim Kardashian-West appeared to announce that Kanye would be releasing a new album called Jesus is King due out on September 27, 2019. Speaking of Jesus is King, Sunday Service is still happening and Brad Pitt stopped in.

September 16, 2019—Back to Yandhi?

As West seemed to prepare for the release of Jesus is King, rumors circulated that Yandhi was still in the works as well.

September 27, 2019—No Jesus is King, but there is a movie

The album’s release date was promptly pushed to September 29. The album did not drop on the 29th either. On the 27th though, West previewed the album and an accompanying IMAX film entitled Jesus is King in Detroit. He also noted that he will only be producing gospel music moving forward.


September 29, 2019—Sunday Service on the Road

In lieu of the album release, West hosted a Sunday Service performance in New York. Attendees were instructed to keep phones in locked pouches to ensure privacy. He also dropped new Jesus is King merch.

October 1, 2019—Yandhi Ringtones

Yandhi tracks appeared on iTunes under Kanye West’s name, but instead of the full album, West has seemingly released them as ringtones in the iTunes library. Nine tracks are currently available on the ringtone platform in 26-second snippets. None of the tracks align with the track list released by Kim Kardashian-West for Jesus is King.

October 25, 2019—Jesus is King: The Movie

Photo by KANYE WEST.

The IMAX film, shot in summer 2019 in Arizona, is set to have a release date of October 25. It will be a Sunday Service concert film. At this time, neither Jesus is King nor Yandhi have a release date.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Justin Kirkland
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture. Prior to Esquire, his work appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today. He is from East Tennessee and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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