Kanye West brought Sunday Service to Joel Osteen’s church.
As promised, the rapper appeared before Osteen’s congregation of 45,000 and TV audience of 10 million during the 11 a.m. service at Lakewood Church in Houston on Sunday.
“Come on, let’s welcome Mr. Kanye West today,” said the pastor to cheers from the crowd. “We feel blessed to have you, Kanye.”
Wearing a black suit, Kanye spoke about rediscovering religion. “I know that God’s been calling me for a long time and the devil’s been distracting me for a long time,” said Ye. “When I was at my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me.”
He also reflected on being in the hospital after his 2016 “mental breakdown.” That’s when he decided to start a church in Calabasas. “Even after that, I went and made the Life of Pablo album. I said, ‘This is a gospel album.’ And I didn’t know how to totally make a gospel album and the Christians that were around were too beaten into submission by society to not speak up and profess the gospel to me because I was a superstar. But the only superstar is Jesus.”
At one point, he addressed one member of the congregation who interrupted him. “I really appreciate the support, but I would like for everybody to completely be silent so I can let God flow through me as I speak to you guys today.”
He said that he’s channeled his “arrogance, confidence, and cockiness” into God. “Now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for him,” he said with a laugh.
Kanye went on to speak about attending church as a child and raising his family. “There’s a blatant responsibility for me to become more like my mother, who’s gone to heaven, and more like my father, who’s building a water purification center in the DR,” he said.
He also declared that his Jesus Is King track “Closed on Sunday” is the “hardest record ever made.” “It’s hard as an N.W.A record because it’s talking about protecting your kids from the indoctrination of the media,” said Ye. “The thousand and thousands of images that are fed to children by the age of six or seven, and within those images there are images mixed in that we don’t know about as parents that are purposely mixed in to lower the kids superpower and esteem so that they can be more susceptible to consumption.”
Osteen then played one of his favorite songs off Jesus Is King, “God Is,” as Kanye rapped along with his eyes closed.
At one point, West also defended Osteen against his critics. “There’s a lot of people in the Christian community that give Joel a hard time because when you turn on the video, he keeps showing you how good God is,” said Ye.
Kanye and his traveling Sunday Service choir will return to perform at Lakewood later in the evening. The free tickets sold out in less than 15 minutes.