31. "Jesus Walks" (2004) (Version 1)
Director: Michael Haussman
Album: The College Dropout
With a song like "Jesus Walks," there was no question that Kanye would have to produce a visual that helped illustrate the emotions the song manifested. And since Kanye is a man of many words and even more emotions, he created not one, but three music videos for this song because four minutes of imagery limits the ideas that he hoped fans would develop for the song.
This version brings us into a church service where Kanye is a rapping pastor, with an accompanying choir behind him as he spits. We then meet our three protagonists: a prostitue, gang member, and homeless man. Each with their own internal demons, they battle trying to start a new life as their old one hoovers on top of them. The three then find themselves being saved by "angels" and walk collectively into the church where West is giving the good word.
Director Michael Haussman appropriately inserts real footage of various riots and acts of violence that occured in the U.S. to help piece together the damaging society these characters are living in. At the end of the video the homeless man has offered his alcohol, the gang member his affiliated paraphenalia, and the prostitute her body-all at a chance of redemption.