When Kanye West released Jesus Is King last Friday, the biggest question on our minds, of course, was not how Kanye would channel his brash irreverence into gospel music or how good Clipse and Kenny G would sound on a track, but what the “AR 1331 A” on the physical record meant. A week later, we can rest easy once again, thanks to one of Jack White’s henchmen at Third Man Records. Ben Blackwell, an archivist for the label, found that it’s the Archer Records pressing code for a single from the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ and Rubye Shelton in Detroit — where, if you’ve forgotten amid everything that happened since, Kanye first debuted music from Jesus Is King in September. The record features “I Want the World to Know Jesus,” “God’s Going to Destroy This Nation,” “The Hypocrite,” and “Come Out of the Valley.” A message, perhaps?
Blackwell seems to be enjoying his 15 seconds of fame. “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?” he joked to Pitchfork. Whoever he is, he’s really following through with this gospel thing.