The True Meaning Behind 24 By Kanye West

Kanye West dropped his tenth studio album, "Donda," as an homage to his late mother, Donda C. West. The album was an ambitious undertaking for an already-ambitious artist. He knew he was putting pressure on himself when he called "Donda" "the album of the life," as Billboard noted. 

What makes "Donda" so unique is the ongoing tribute to his mother that plays throughout. The rhythmic beating of her heart plays on one track. There's a chant of her name. She is everywhere in the project. Even when West decided to let the world in for a listening show, he rebuilt his childhood home on Soldier Field in Chicago, Page Six reported. The album is a nostalgic throwback to his adolescence and a eulogy to his mother.

What makes the album similar to more recent work of West's is the recurring religious undertone. Perhaps unexpected in the rap world, West brings God into several of his tracks, especially "24."

Kanye West collaborates with the Sunday Service Choir

Kanye West's "24" marks a continued commitment of the rapper's to bring God into his music. West collaborates with the Sunday Service Choir and they kick off the song with: "Dear God, make it alright / Only You can make it alright / Dear Lord, make it alright / Nothing else ever feels right," per Genius.

West then begins, with a message of renewal and resurrection. "God loves you / Love when He choose your steps / Gotta make it right 'fore you left / Gotta make it right before you— / Everybody wanna feel likе / Everything gon' be right/ New mе over the old me / Let it out, let it all out," he raps.

There's a sense of an individual being a work-in-progress in "24" under God's supervising hand. West and the Sunday Service Choir sing together: "Yeah, know you're alive and God's not finished / Know you're alive and God's not finished / I know you're alive, God's not finished / I know you're alive and God's not—." The song cuts here to sing about the devil as a lie. While "24" is essentially hopeful, there's a panicked sound at moments throughout the song.

Kanye West ends 24 in joy

"24" isn't easy to listen to in terms of emotional pull. The song sounds like an at-times frantic search for hope, especially in the refrain when Kanye West and the Sunday Service Choir sing repeatedly: "We gonna be okay, we gonna be okay / We gonna be okay, we gonna be okay / We gonna be okay, we gonna be okay," per Genius.

Despite the pain in the lyrics, the song repeats near the end of the bridge: "God's not finished, God's not finished / God's not finished, God's not finished." What makes "24" so alluring is the use of mantra repeated throughout and one that ultimately wraps up in joy: "Throw our hands up in the sky / Yes, Lord, we wave 'em high."

West began composing Christian-themed music in the early 2000s with his famous track "Jesus Walks," and since then, he's been on a spiritual path that's taken the world by surprise. He told Fader in 2008, "I'm like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector. I can't be responsible. I'm good, but I'm not that good. So my job is just to be in the studio and do videos, and I just stand here and let God do the rest." Over a decade later, West still seems to believe this. After all, singing "God's not finished" on repeat does sound like relinquishing power and letting God do the rest.