Kanye West planned to give up rap music after converting to Christianity earlier this year, according to his pastor, who says West told him that the genre is “the devil’s music.”
Kanye’s pastor, Adam Tyson, told Christian media outlet Apologia last week that the rap icon had a major conversion experience last April, after which he seriously considered dumping his rap music career.
Kanye “started visiting our church back in mid-May,” said Tyson, the senior pastor at Placerita Bible Church in Newhall, CA, and soon after told Tyson that five weeks earlier he had “got radically saved.”
“He just started telling me a little about his testimony,” Tyson said.
Kanye told Tyson he had turned to Christianity after feeling “the weight of sin” from “chasing all the things of this world,” which brought him to the conclusion he should give up rap.
“The guilt of sin brought him down low,” the pastor said. “He would say the devil basically brought him to a place where he just felt like he was in bondage to his sin. So he said, ‘I got delivered.’”
“One time, he told me that he wasn’t going to rap,” Tyson said. “I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘That’s the devil’s music.’”
“I said, ‘Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God,’” Tyson continued.
“I think he was already thinking about it a little bit, but I definitely said, ‘Hey, bro. I think you need to use your talents that God’s given you and use that platform for God,’” Tyson said.
Since then, Kanye has transitioned his music career to only doing Christian rap, starting a gospel-themed “Sunday Service” music tour, drawing thousands and which most recently made a stop in Jamaica.
Kanye’s new Christian hip-hop album Jesus Is King is due for release on October 25 along with an accompanying IMAX film.