Kanye West has released his first new music since 2019’s Jesus Is King and the companion Sunday Service Choir album Jesus Is Born.
The song is “Wash Us in the Blood,” and it’s something West previously mentioned in an April 2020 feature for GQ magazine as one piece from a 54-track playlist he had been tinkering with. Just like Jesus Is King, this one is a song of worship.
West began teasing the release on Monday. Now, “Wash Us in the Blood,” from his upcoming God’s Country album, arrives with a music video directed by Arthur Jafa and a mix from Dr. Dre. Rapper Travis Scott also features on the track.
The first image features a police man shouting at Black Lives Matter protestors as shown through footage shot by smartphone. More shots see black people breathing heavily, timed to the beat, on hospital beds while wearing COVID-19-protective masks.
“Wash us in the blood/ Wash us in the blood/ Whole life being thugs/ No choice selling drugs/ South Side what it does,” West raps. “Rain down on us/ Genocide what it does/ Slavery what it does/ Rain down on us.”
The video also highlights Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was shot eight times by cops in Louisville in an attempted no-knock drug sting operation, as well as what appears to be video from the day Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot in Georgia while out jogging. Footage of Taylor in “Wash Us in the Blood” shows her dancing as Scott raps, “Execution in 30 states/ 30 states still execute/ Thou shalt not kill/ I should not spill.” Currently, there are 28 states in the U.S. with capital punishment laws.
In June, West donated $2 million to support the families of Taylor, Arbery, and George Floyd, the latter having died after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.