The album art for Kanye West’s new album, Jesus Is King, is pretty straightforward. It features a vibrant blue vinyl record with yellow text that includes Kanye’s name, the album title, and “33RPM LP.” Where things get a little confusing, though, is the part that says, “New Songs AR1331 A.” Nobody was quite sure what those numbers mean, but now we have an answer, thanks to Jack White’s Third Man Records.
The label tweeted out what the text signifies, revealing that according to “Third Man archivist and Detroit music historian Ben Blackwell,” “AR1331 A” refers to “the Archer Records (AR) pressing plant code assigned to this 1970 Detroit gospel single.”
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
The single in question (a photo of which is included in the tweet) is by Rubye Shelton, and it includes the songs “I Want The World To Know Jesus” and “God’s Going To Destroy This Nation,” which is thematically appropriate in relation to Jesus Is King. Blackwell also notes that the other side of the record features the songs “The Hypocrite” and “Come Out Of The Valley.”
Blackwell told 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?”
Meanwhile, Kanye dressed up for a Halloween family photo recently, although he can’t actually be seen in the picture.