Third Man Records Solves the Mystery Serial Number on Kanye West's 'Jesus Is King'

"AR 1331 A" comes from an obscure '70s gospel recording
Third Man Records Solves the Mystery Serial Number on Kanye West's 'Jesus Is King'
Kanye West's Jesus Is King contains an Easter egg on its cover artwork in the form of a mystery serial number, "AR 1331 A." Fans had speculated about what it might mean, and now Jack White's label Third Man Records seems to have cracked the code: it's the serial number from a 1970s Detroit gospel recording by Rubye Shelton and Sister Orr.

The record was uncovered by Third Man archivist Ben Blackwell, who found that "AR 1331 A" is the pressing plant code from Archer Records (hence "AR"). The single in question comes from Cleveland-based Apostolic church the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ.

It's a 7-inch with two tracks on the A-side ("I Want the World to Know Jesus" and "God's Going to Destroy This Nation" ) and two more on the flip ("The Hypocrite" and "Come Out of the Valley").

The single is very obscure and doesn't seem to be anywhere online. Some Google sleuthing turned up a Facebook post from a few years ago and an expired product listing. A copy sold on eBay for $183 USD back in 2016. Who knows — perhaps Kanye West was the buyer.

It's unclear why exactly Kanye put the serial code on Jesus Is King. Perhaps it's simply a hat-tip to a gospel record he found inspirational.