Jack White’s Third Man Records are known for, their exper…, their knowle…, for being music nerds. We love them for it, and so will Kanye West’s fans once they learn what the mystery code on the front of his latest album Jesus Is King is all about.
The code had been staring the audience in the face, teasing mega-fans as to what the little easter egg could be. Fans were sure, with West at the helm, that nothing was purely for effect and that the code likely linked to something. But what?
Well, you can now rest easy as Ben Blackwell, a leading Detroit music historian working with Third Man Records as an archivist has solved the mystery. The serial number corresponds with a gospel single from Cleveland-based Apostolic church the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ on Archer Records.
Blackwell said to Pitchfork: “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?”
It’s a 7-inch record with 4 tracks in total, the A-side of the single was recorded by Shelton and features, ‘I Want the World to Know Jesus’ and ‘God’s Going to Destroy This Nation.’ The B-side features a further couple of tracks, ‘The Hypocrite’ and ‘Come Out of the Valley’ both of which are in the gospel ethos.
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