Psalm 23 as Cultural Icon

Album covers for Tupac’s “So Many Tears” 1995. CD single, Soundcastle Studios,and Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks. 2000. CD single, Sony Music Studios

The often-quoted passage from Psalm 23, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me,” was used by rap artists Tupac Shakur and Kanye West as inspiration for lyrics in their hit contemporary recordings. Tupac’s lyrical refrain, “Lord, I suffered through the years, and shed so many tears. … God, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears,” creates a message of helplessness and betrayal. Kanye West’s lyrics focus on a less pessimistic perspective: “God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down, Jesus walks with me.”

Album covers for Tupac

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