“Closed on Sunday” by Kanye West

Being that this is indeed Kanye West, the most-controversial musician of the second (and perhaps also first) decade of the 21st century, it is inevitable that his song “Closed on Sunday” will be over-analyzed by many.  But some of the tracks on his “Jesus Is King” project really do read as if they are solely based on traditional Christian ideologies.

Chorus

And one of those songs is apparently “Closed on Sunday”. For instance, in the chorus, Yeezus calls upon listeners to “get your family” and “hold hands and pray”. He also advises parents to keep their daughters “safe” and to be a positive influence on the upbringing of their songs. Additionally he gives a shoutout to “Jesus” and presents Him as someone whom the audience should ‘listen to and obey’. And the underlying implication is that he is doing so against a “culture” which may encourage people to do otherwise.

Verse

Meanwhile the verse is based on a theme which is also present in some of Kanye’s other ‘gospel’ songs. And that’s basically the rapper submitting himself to what he perceives as the will of God, which is directly related to him ‘bowing down to the King’, i.e. Jesus. And he has made this decision knowing that there will be some resistance, both social and spiritual.  However, he has ‘drawn the line in the sand’, as in taking a definitive stand for what he believes in. So basically, this particular section reads like a person who, as they used to say in the old days, has found religion.

Chick-Fil-A

But the mainstream-entertainment complex being what it is, what popular news outlets are rather focused on is Kanye referencing the fast-food franchise, Chick-Fil-A, in the chorus (and outro). Indeed the title of this song is derived from a line in the chorus which reads “closed on Sunday, you’re my Chick-Fil-A”. And honestly, until Yeezus sheds more light on the meaning of these particular lyrics, trying to interpret them down to the specifics may not be a good idea. However, considering the overarching theme of the track, it would most likely be related to the fact that church is held on Sunday. 

But the aforementioned media entities are rather focusing on the owners of Chick-Fil-A having allegedly supported a (Christian) organization in the past which spoke out against homosexuality. So basically the idea they are trying to put forth is that via namedropping Chick-Fil-A, Kanye too is “anti-LGBT”.

Conclusion

But outside of there being no actual basis to make such an assertion, having such a narrow-minded approach to “Closed on Sunday” totally takes away from the actual meaning of “Closed on Sunday”. And that is Kanye is calling on the audience to devote themselves to the goal of being more upright and spiritually-focused individuals. And in touting his own conversion into such, he is also presenting himself as a living example of someone who is not afraid to state what he believes in to the entire world. He does this despite knowing that many will not accept it.

Lyrics of "Closed on Sunday"

Facts about “Closed on Sunday”

“Closed on Sunday” is featured on Kanye West’s gospel-inspired album, “Jesus Is King”.

Yeezus debuted the song in September of 2019, though thus far the only time he has played it is at listening parties for the album. And the definitive release date for the project is still unknown.

One of the labels behind “Closed on Sunday” is Kanye’s own GOOD Music. Def Jam Recordings is the other label through which the project was released.

Kanye West had extensive help writing this gospel tune. He was assisted by several songwriters, including his own GOOD Music artist, Pusha T. Other writers with writing credits on “Closed on Sunday” include the names below:

  •  V. E. Boyd
  •  T. Mosley
  • R. East
  • No Malice
  • C. F. Gómez
  • F. Vindver
  • B. Miller
  • A. López

FYI, Vindver, Miller and Lopez also co-produced the track. And Yeezus also served as a producer of “Closed on Sunday”, as did legendary hip-hop musician Timbaland.

9 Responses

  1. Laszlo Toth says:

    But that’s the exact problem. Kanye’s “conversion” to Christianity—without, for example, acknowledging all the things the New Testament says about extreme wealth, singing your own praises, and loving the things of this world—feels very shallow and commercial.

    Singing about a fast food restaurant—one that’s done a lot of real harm, in the name of a religion that’s deviated horribly from Biblical Christianity—is a perfect metaphor for everything that makes us suspicious about it.

    There’s nothing “upright and spiritually-focused” about Kanye’s latest publicity stunt and personal phase. It’s all about him, just like it always is with Kanye.

    And your incredibly dismissive argument that name-checking a blatantly anti-LGBT organization, one that’s become associated first and foremost in the public mind with anti-gay legislation, does very little to convince me—especially since it’s based on a flat declaration that there’s “no actual basis to make such an assertion,” which simply rejects people’s concerns instead of addressing them. That’s EXACTLY what’s wrong with modern Christianity—you can’t have love, faith, and charity without actually LISTENING compassionately to your critics, whether it stings or not.

    • JMata says:

      We get it, you don’t like Christianity

      • Laszlo Toth says:

        I love Christianity. It’s a great ideology. I wish people would try practicing it sometime.

        You know what else I wish? I wish people wouldn’t dismiss complex opinions with a snarky one-line strawman. All you’ve proven is you really don’t want to think too hard about the points I raised, and everything I said about your poor argument was totally correct. Congratulations for refusing to listen, I guess?

      • Cassie says:

        I believe Kanye is serious about his convictions and his devotion to the Lord. He’s using his fame and platform to spread his message and preach the Gospel. This isn’t a publicity stunt, I can’t think of a single reason why making an entire Christian based album and devoting his time to a weekly Sunday Church service would just be fake. Religion can also be a personal phase, so what if it is? That’s the beauty of religious freedom in America. I’m really not sure what you’re so upset about.

  2. Laszlo Toth says:

    Oh, and… see ya in Hell.

  3. Jordan says:

    As a Christian myself, I am eager to see what becomes of Kanye now that he has been openly declaring his faith in Jesus. I praise God for his boldness to proclaim the gospel to his fanbase in a broken and fallen world that desperately needs Jesus. I do not truly know if he is saved or not – only time will tell – but he’s done and said several things lately that are consistent with the Bible, which is encouraging to me.

    We need to keep in mind that even if Kanye is a Christian, he is not a perfect Christian (there is no such thing!) , nor does he know everything about the Bible. Sanctification in the Bible is a lifelong process, not an event. I did not agree with everything he said in his album, but I agreed with most of it.

    If this album were all about him, I would think Kanye would’ve written his lyrics in a way that we’re focused on self exaltation. From what I can tell, most of the lyrics are focused on exalting Jesus and staying true to the faith.

    I do agree that Kanye to this day still struggles with the sins of pride and boastfulness. My hope is that he will recognize this sinful behavior and give it to God in humble repentance. Praying for him!

  4. Michelle says:

    This is pure BLASPHEMY! SATURDAY IS THE TRUE SABBATH NOT Sunday. GOD created the world in six days and on the SEVENTH DAY He RESTED. Kanye is a puppet for Pope Francis who will enforce THE SUNDAY LAW which will mean that everyone who does not bow down & worship on Sundays & keeps the TRUE SABBATH will be arrested or put to death! The Sunday Law is THE MARK OF THE BEAST! If you study the Bible & BELIEIVE IN & FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST we have to be like the 3 Hebrew boys in the Book of Daniel & NOT BOW DOWN TO THE GOLDEN STATUE OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR!!! LORD HAVE MERCY ON US. 🙏🏼

  5. Sarah says:

    I took “closed on Sunday” and the chic-fil-a reference as him ‘closing’ on Sunday, like chick-fil-a if that makes sense… he said, “Hold the selfies, put the ‘Gram (Instagram) away, get your family, y’all hold hands and pray” so my interpretation is that he’s shutting down on Sunday’s to focus on the Spirit.

  6. Trisha Pounders says:

    Or maybe Chic-fil-a is one of the main things we think of when we think of being closed on Sunday and it only goes just that far. That’s it. No further thought.
    Just maybe

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