- Read More: Kanye West – ‘Jesus Is King’ review: an iconoclast sounds peaceful and fulfilled on this jubilant gospel collection
The label’s archivist, Ben Blackwell, found an Easter egg on the cover via a serial number, ‘AR 1331 A’, which he found refers to a 1970’s Detroit gospel recording by Rubye Shelton and Sister Orr.
Blackwell discovered that the serial number links to a pressing plant code from Archer Records.
Speaking to Pitchfork, Blackwell said: “I knew the past decade spent in the deepest, loneliest recesses of Archer Record Pressing nerd-dom would eventually lead me to the biggest recording artist in the world. But enough about Jack White…who is this Kanye guy?”
The serial number is the same one the serial number from a 1970s Detroit gospel recording by Rubye Shelton and Sister Orr. Blackwell discovered that “AR 1331 A” is the pressing plant code from Archer Records.
The single comes from Cleveland-based Apostolic church the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ. It’s a 7-inch record with two songs on each side of the vinyl.
The A-side of the gospel single in question was recorded by Shelton and features two songs: ‘I Want the World to Know Jesus’ and ‘God’s Going to Destroy This Nation.’ The B-side features two further tracks: ‘The Hypocrite’ and ‘Come Out of the Valley.’
Third Man archivist and Detroit music historian Ben Blackwell has cracked the code on the mystery of what “AR 1331 A” means on Kanye’s "Jesus Is King" artwork. It’s the Archer Records (AR) pressing plant code assigned to this 1970 Detroit gospel single. @kanyewest @KimKardashian pic.twitter.com/ChOn1S4eZc
— Third Man Records (@thirdmanrecords) November 1, 2019
Last week (October 30) Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis recalled how she faced death threats for booking West as a headliner in 2015.
Eavis speaks about securing the rap star for the Pyramid Stage in the newly published Glastonbury 50 book, which celebrates the Worthy Farm event’s half-century milestone and contains contributions from the likes of Dolly Parton and Chris Martin.
In an extract published by The Guardian, Eavis wrote: “As soon as we announced that [West] was playing, a petition sprang up – started by someone who had never been to Glastonbury – saying Kanye shouldn’t play because he wasn’t right for us.”
Discussing the impact of the “negative” media coverage surrounding the controversial booking, she explained: “Again, we had to reassure the people around the artist that it would all work, that these stories don’t reflect the attitude of people coming to the festival – or in the UK, for that matter. It’s just a load of hot air.”
Reviewing Kanye’s latest album, NME said: “Like many great rock stars before him, Kanye West has cranked up God’s jukebox. ‘Jesus Is King’ lacks his trademark goofball sense of humour, but that’s partly compensated for with warmth and hope for the future.”