Rhymefest Explains How "Jesus Walks" Impacted Kanye West's Career

Exclusive: Rhymefest, who co-wrote "Jesus Walks," talks about how the song has impacted Kanye West and his fans.

Rhymefest, a co-writer on Kanye West's "Jesus Walks," recently spoke about how the song has impacted West's career. The selection, which was released as a cut on West's debut album The College Dropout, was a "great" one from the start, according to Rhymefest

"When you do great things, you know it," Rhymefest says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "Whenever you make a song, you know when it’s special. After ['Jesus Walks'] was made, we knew it was special."

They knew it was a special track then, but Rhymefest says the song has also been impactful throughout West's career in different ways. 

"Looking back on it, we would not view Kanye the same way without it," Rhymefest says. "Kanye would not have as many chances with the public as he has had without that critical piece of the puzzle. It touched people in a place where Rap music rarely touches people these days, and that’s the heart." 

The song touched on Kanye West's religious views and his belief and hope that the song would impact his life in different ways. "I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers," West raps on the track. "The way Kathie Lee needed Regis, that's the way I need Jesus / So here go my single dog, radio needs this / They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus / That means guns, sex, lies, videotape / But if I talk about God my record won't get played? Huh? / Well, if this takes away from my spins / Which will probably take away from my ends / Then I hope this take away from my sins." 

In 2011, West rapped about "Jesus Walks" and its impact on "Otis," a selection off his Watch the Throne album which was done as a collaborative project with Jay Z. "I made 'Jesus Walks,'" West raps on the song. "I'm never going to hell." 

In 2013, West performed "Jesus Walks" with a person dressed as Jesus Christ during his Yeezus tour set. West spoke about the portrayal of Jesus Christ during a radio interview. "I had a friend of mine that's a pastor there as we started discussing how we wanted to deliver it," Kanye West said at the time. "My girl even asked afterwards, 'Is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?' They're like, 'No. We do plays all the time. People play Jesus. You know what's awesome about Christianity? We're allowed to portray God. We're allowed to draw an image of him. We're allowed to make movies about him. Other religions, you're not allowed to do that. That's what's really awesome about Christianity. That's one of the really awesome things.'" 

Kanye West's The College Dropout was released one year ago today (February 10). For more on West's debut album, read HipHopDX's "Kanye West's 'The College Dropout' In Review: 10 Year Anniversary." 

Additional Reporting By: Brandon E. Roos

RELATED: Kanye West Explains Jesus Portrayal On "Yeezus" Tour


  • MattieLMurray

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $71 hourly on the laptop . She has been without work for five months but last month her income was $12576 just working on the laptop for a few hours. straight from the source >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://ao.co.za/61LX0A

  • Universal

    Is that Kwame Kilpatrick? If it is somebody tell him to come pick up these records from my house before I make more beats like these http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJAWHu10AzI

  • Them teeth

    He can rap he got the biggest jaw in the game tho look the size that fuckin thing

  • BlackPressRadio

    FEW PEOPLE are as impactful as Rhymefest. He is the TRUTH! RHymefest made Kanye, period! - DC Livers

  • BlackPressRadio

    FEW PEOPLE are as impactful as Rhymefest. He is the absolute TRUTH! The real is Rhymefest made Kanye...period! - DC Livers

  • Anonymous

    "Kanye West's The College Dropout was released one year ago today (February 10)" DX Strikes again.

  • Anonymous

    Was never really a huge fan of this album. Liked a couple cuts, but thats about it.

  • dentaldamboy

    I can confidently tell you that Curtis 50Cent Jackson has been offered a deal with YMCMB. Lil Wayne just bought out the remaining contract from Shady/Aftermath/Interscope for $3mill. It was suppose to be around the $5mill mark but since the last album flopped and none of the recent single achieved gold $3mill was agreed.As an accountant for CMB records i personally wrote the check. He has been trying to get a deal with Lil Wayne for years now.

  • Anonymous

    i forgot this dude existed.....til now that is.

  • BCHS08

    Yeah that's the great thing about Christianity...... You can capitalize on it.

  • Preschool Dropout

    I thought Yeezus was supposed to be a genius! The next Walt Disney and Steve Jobs? Why would he need Rhymefest to write a hit for him?

    • Anonymous

      Oh, yeah, I did forget about the rest of the album because it was crappy Pop music, even back then, MTV material

    • Anonymous

      he co-wrote the first verse on the song along with Ye dude. FACT. he didn't write all of it for him. Plus are you forgeting the rest of the album kanye made himself? smh and yes Rhymefest even said Yes a genius before.

  • rahrahrah

    Do you know what else is awesome about Christianity! You're allowed to call black people less than human and enslave them and ship them away from their ancestral homes! That shit you see people practicing doesn't have anything to do with Christ. If you're looking at mainstream Christianity to tell you what is right and wrong then there is no hope for you. "Religion is a prison for the seekers of wisdom" Killah Priest, Kill-A-Priest!

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