In his just-released music video for his song “Follow God,” rapper Kanye West’s father, Ray, explains what it means to walk with the Lord.
“What does it mean to follow God?” Ray asked at the beginning of the video, which opens with West and his father walking through a snow covered field on one of the entertainment mogul’s ranches in Cody, Wyoming. “Like, as I stand here today, I’m reminded of the first time my children ever got the opportunity to be in snow, and when we walked outside in the snow, they were very fearful in terms of the steps that they would take.”
“What I did,” he continued, “was I walked in front of them, and I took steps, and I said them, ‘Instead of creating your own footprints, walk in the footprints that I’ve already made.”
Kanye’s father was once a Black Panther, though he left the radical organization after his son was born. Ultimately, he became a Christian marriage counselor.
Interestingly, there was a time Ray was not certain he was up to being a dad. According to Kanye’s mother, Donda, who died in 2007, Ray once told her, “I don’t know if I can be a good father. I don’t know if it’s in me. That’s why I don’t want to do it.”
In 2018, Ray was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Though the treatments have been successful, according to Ray’s ex-wife Cheryl Carmichael West, the development took a major emotional toll on Kanye. From that point, Kanye and Ray have had a close, personal relationship.
“It took me 42 years to realize that my dad is my best friend,” Kanye wrote at the end of the music video for “Follow God,” a track on the entertainer’s latest Gospel-infused album, “Jesus Is King,” which comes after Kanye underwent a major spiritual overhaul earlier this year. He has now dedicated his career to sharing his Christian faith.