Kanye West almost turned his back on rap.
The rapper’s pastor, Adam Tyson, recently spoke with Christian-based media outlet Apologia Studios (via XXL) about Kanye’s religious rebirth and how its affected his music.
“[Kanye] started visiting our church back in mid-May,” said Tyson, who is the senior pastor at Placerita Bible Church in Newhall, Calif.
After showing up to service a few times, he requested to speak with Tyson. “[Kanye] said, ‘About five weeks ago, I got radically saved,’” shared the pastor. “He just started telling me a little about his testimony.”
Kanye told Tyson that he turned to Christianity after feeling the “weight of sin” from fame and the music industry. “The guilt of sin brought him down low,” he 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.’”
At one point, he even considered giving up rap altogether. “One time, he told me that he wasn’t going to rap,” Tyson revealed. “I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘Well, that’s the devil’s music.’ I said, ‘Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God.’ I think he was already thinking about it a little bit, but I just definitely said, ‘Hey, bro. I think you need to use your talents that God’s given you and use that platform for God.’”
Ye ultimately decided not to abandon his craft, but use it as vehicle to spread his beliefs. He continues to host his gospel-themed Sunday Service performances, which made a recent stop in Jamaica.
His religious-themed album Jesus Is King is reportedly now due Oct. 25, while his film of the same name arrives in IMAX theaters the same day.