Kanye West's latest music artwork combines imagery of the Bible and the Quran. Is it offensive?

Kanye West Twitter/@kanyewest

No stranger to controversy, Kanye West has again stirred up debate over his latest release.

Last week, the 38-year-old rapper published an image to accompany his most recent collaboration to the social networking platform Twitter. The image features a white book with the word 'Quran' on the front cover and the words 'Holy Bible' on the back with an image of a cross.

West is yet to share his thoughts on the cover art but in the past he has been vocal about his Christian faith. It's possible that the inspiration for the cover art image came from the different faith backgrounds of the rappers featured on the song. French Montana is reportedly a practicing Muslim, Kanye a Christian and Nas has previously said that he grew up in a Christian family but leaned towards Islam when he grew older, although he claims that doesn't belong to any religion but believes in a higher power.

Some Twitter users referred to the artwork as "disrespectful" and said that the imagery of the holy books should not have been used in this way. Montana also published the visuals to his Instagram page on two occasions and in response to both followers branded the artwork "wrong", and questioned what the Bible and the Quran had to do with the song which features lots of profanities.

The song, Figure it Out, does not feature on West's latest album but it does tie in with the religious themes that he's been expressing on social media. On the 27th January, West tweeted: "This album is actually a Gospel album". Expanding on this point in a radio interview with host Big Boy, West said: "It's the gospel according to 'Ye. Not exactly what happened in the Bible, but it's a story of this idea of Mary Magdalene becoming Mary."

There has even been speculation that West's latest album could be inspired by the Apostle Paul, after he tweeted: "Paul ... The most powerful messenger of the first century... Now we stand here 20 centuries later... Because he was a traveler...".

This isn't the first time that West has used his music to channel his thoughts on Christianity. The rapper has a history of speaking about his faith through his music. His fourth single of his debut album was entitled Jesus Walks and featured the lyrics, "God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down"; on his 2012 release Clique, he raps: "But I been talking to God for so long, now if you look at my life I guess he talking back," and there are a multiple of other references to his relationship with God found throughout his back catalogue.

Lifestyle