One of the early criticisms of Kanye West’s long-awaited Jesus Is King was its distinct lack of bangers. In fact, it could be argued that “Follow God” is the only track from the gospel-heavy album that you’re ever likely to hear in a club (the same can’t be said for a church). So it makes sense then, that “Follow God” is also the first song from the album to get the music video treatment, (Kanye’s Jesus is King IMAX movie notwithstanding).
And like all things Kanye these days, the video is a grand statement, about god, race and above all fatherhood. We say this, because West is joined by his father, Ray West, as they drive across the vast, snowy landscapes of Wyoming, which has become West’s home of choice in recent years.
Apart from the all-terrain vehicles that look like they were pulled from the set of Mad Max, the video is startlingly bare by rap video standards. What we get instead are surprisingly sweet moments between West and his father, a man who’s had far less prominence in West’s overall narrative than his late mother, Donda.
West seems to address both that estrangement and a possible reconciliation in text that appears at the video’s end. “My dad came to visit me at one of our ranches in Cody, Wyoming,” the text reads. “He talked about his love for fishing, and how he could come here in the summers. It took me 42 years to realize that my dad was my best friend. He asked me, ‘how many acres is this?’ I told him 4000. He replied with these three words: ‘A black man?’”
Watch the video for Kanye West’s “Follow God” below.