I do understand where Kanye’s antics may not make him the best representation for the Gospel community but at the same time.. would it be fair not to include him in that conversation while he was making that type of music?
Marvin Sapp is definitely one of the most notable Gospel artists of our time, so if any was going to speak on Kanye West dabbling into the genre, I’m not mad at it being him. Despite the anti-Semitism backlash West has received, he continues to claim his Christian faith. For years, Ye has been making waves in Gospel circles, especially following the success of Jesus is King. The album won several Gospel awards including a Grammy for Best Gospel Album and received support from a large portion of the gospel community. However, Sapp offered a different take in a recent interview.
“I’m just looking at it differently,” he told VladTV. “I can absolutely sympathize with up-and-coming artists when you look at Billboard and Kanye’s whole record is in, like, one through 40 of our genre.”
“Do I think that it’s fair…now that I think about it, it’s not,” he continued. “I don’t think that it’s fair at all. And I think what ends up happening is it ends up eclipsing those of us who really do this for the genre and as a lifestyle.” He jokingly patted himself on the back for that observation and added, “Yeah, that was good, Marvin.”
“But, you know, it happens,” Sapp added. “All of these streaming platforms—if an R&B, Hip Hop artist comes along and they do something that’s Gospel oriented, they’ll bring it over into our genre, and we embrace them. But that’s not something that happens across genres.”
The singer-songwriter pastor used Lil Nas X as an example. Sapp brought up the Country Music Awards’ minimizing the success of “Old Town Road” because it was argued that his hit single didn’t belong in the genre. “If we did it, it would look like we not Christian.”
He noted that opposition or criticism of West from Christian circles doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with someone’s “religious position.” “I think it does have something to do with making sure that the playing field is fair. Kanye ain’t a Gospel artist.”
Do you agree with Marvin Sapp about Ye’s inclusion in Gospel music culture? Is he speaking facts or reaching a bit?