Just when you thought Kanye West couldn’t get any more unpredictable, the prolific artist has announced the debut of his new opera, “Nebuchadnezzar.”


Who Is Nebuchadnezzar?

The opera’s title references an ancient king of Babylon. He is heavily featured in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Daniel.

According to journalist and self-proclaimed Stan of Kanye Chris Lambert, “One macro takeaway from the story of Nebuchadnezzar is this: you may not think God had anything to do with your success until one day you realize God had everything to do with your success.

“Maybe this opera is [Kanye’s] way of spreading the message, of letting people know you can falter, you can fall over, and it’s okay to get back up and continue moving forward. That you can have the audacity to recover.”

Kanye’s Religion

The biblical theme is nothing new. West has spent his entire career exploring faith through his music:

  • 2004: Kanye releases “Jesus Walks,” one of his more directly faith-based tracks.
  • 2016: Kanye drops “The Life of Pablo,” labeled both a hip hop and gospel album.
  • April 2019: First “Sunday Service” performance is debuted at Coachella, featuring gospel iterations of West’s music. The rapper has performed a service every Sunday since.
  • October 2019: The title of Kanye’s new album, “Jesus Is King,” speaks for itself.
  • November 2019: Kanye’s latest “Sunday Service” takes place at televangelist Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Lakewood, Texas.

Divine Inspiration

In an interview with Zane Lowe, West said, “Nebuchadnezzar was the king…And he looked at his entire kingdom and said, ‘I did this.” And God said, ‘OH, for real? You did this?’ Sounds kind of similar, right?”

Kanye is likely referencing his tendency to idolize himself in his music. In the track “No More Parties in LA,” he sings, “Thank God for me!”

Further, a track on his 2013 album, “Yeezus,” was titled, “I Am a God.”

West continued to tell Zane Lowe, “Nebuchadnezzar was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and he was still king. So not only was I diagnosed with mental illness, but mental illness was something that was used to….to wash me out, to control me.”

The premiere of “Nebuchadnezzar” will take place at the Hollywood Bowl on November 24 this year. It will be directed by performance artist Vanessa Beecroft.