Kanye West per­forming at the Verizon Center, in Wash­ington, D.C. | Flickr

A spectre is haunting American popular culture: the spectre of Kanye West.

All the powers of Hol­lywood and the polit­i­cally-correct have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcise this spectre, including the enter­tainment industry, Twitter, Mark Zuckerburg, the New York Times, the Demo­c­ratic National Con­vention, and Taylor Swift.

But they will not prevail over the Third Great Awak­ening that West insti­gated with the release of his new gospel-rap man­i­festo, “JESUS IS KING.”

West has done what Christian artists across the world (Lecrae, anyone?) have failed to do. West has created a market within a market — a niche within a niche that no one knew they lacked, or needed, until now.

He has dec­i­mated the Christian rap industry and created his own standard, leaving you the option to take or leave it. (Hint: He doesn’t care what you do.) This is classic West, and we can’t help but love him for it.

Unlike Chance the Rapper’s 2016 pseudo-Christian album, “Col­oring Book,” West isn’t afraid to label his album a Christian work. West is clear that he sees it as a vessel for Christ.

“Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me,” West said in a radio interview with Big Boy fol­lowing his album’s release on Friday.

“I’ve spread a lot of things. There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me, I was letting you know what the Hen­nessey had done for me, but now I’m letting you know what Jesus has done for me, and in that I’m no longer a slave., I’m a son now, a son of God. I’m free.”

West is one of the most influ­ential artists of this gen­er­ation. From “College Dropout” to “Ye,” West’s evolving, exper­i­mental sound has paved the way for mul­tiple artists across rap and hip hop.

In West’s earlier years, his edu­cation-themed trilogy of albums, “College Dropout,” “Late Reg­is­tration,” and “Grad­u­ation,” exper­i­mented with skits while show­casing a soul-infused R&B. Then, fol­lowing his mother’s death, West changed tones. He sat­u­rated his next hip-hop album, “808s & Heart­break” with auto-tuned vocals, cre­ating a new genre one can only char­ac­terize as emo-rap — and other artists fol­lowed suit (Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, B.O.B, and The Weeknd, to name a few).

Then, as a gift to humanity (and as a flex in light of the “imma let you finish” com­ments at the 2009 VMAs and sub­se­quent public backlash), West released his most ground­breaking work to date, “My Beau­tiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” an album which com­bined the sounds and craft of his last four albums.

But West wasn’t done.

Three years later, he released a com­pletely dif­ferent album: “Yeezus.” A stripped down, raw, and indus­trial record, it defined the 2010s gold standard for rap. With this album, West pro­claimed he was on par with God, taking the name of Yeezus for himself.

But West still wasn’t done.

With the release of his latest album, “JESUS IS KING,” West answers Yeezus. With “JESUS IS KING,” West takes off his self-appointed crown and lays it at the feet of Christ. “JESUS IS KING” is both the cul­mi­nation and antithesis of Yeezus, and the cul­mi­nation of West’s career itself.

Will the rap and hip hop industry follow West down the path he has carved out for himself? Will Christian rap follow him? Though we can’t say for sure, what we do know is that West has blown a hole in the music industry, blurring the lines between genres and clearly del­e­gated lanes. And there’s no coming back.

Vic­toria Mar­shall is a junior George Wash­ington Fellow studying pol­itics.