Megachurch Pastor Jamal Bryant didn’t mince words during a fiery sermon on Sunday in which he praised popular rapper Kanye West as a “gifted lyricist” but branded him a “sellout” for endorsing his “orange friend” President Donald Trump, who campaigned for the black vote in Atlanta Friday.
Bryant, who less than two months ago hosted an installment of West’s “Sunday Service” at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Stonecrest, Georgia, argued that while West’s first faith-based album, Jesus Is King, has done much to attract increased interest in Christianity, he was troubled by the rapper’s political alliance with the president.
“I’m excited that the Google search for Christianity has gone up by 21 percent in the last three weeks because of the interest of Kanye West’s new record, Jesus Is King. I’m grateful that a whole new millennial generation is now proclaiming and professing ‘Jesus is King.’ I’m excited that those who have never come to church are now thinking that maybe this is a religion and a faith that I can practice. It is absolutely without any controversy or comparison that Kanye West is a gifted lyricist,” Bryant said in the prelude to his criticism in a Facebook Live broadcast of his sermon where he used the concept of a vinyl record to highlight his point.
“The age of music that we’re in now, away from records, away from CD’s, it’s almost now completely streaming. But those of us that grew up listening to vinyl records you know that there is a space in between the songs that is a silence but it is also a prelude of the song that is coming. And in between songs on a vinyl record it is called ghosting. It is called ghosting because it fades out the previous song and it introduces the next song. It is what happens in between the song that is so important,” Bryant said.
“My problem is in between the songs,” he said of West.
“It ain’t on the album. The album is hot, it is good. It’s in between the songs. I can’t rest. I can’t rest with Kanye saying slavery was an option. It’s in between the songs. He says that black people should vote Republican because that’s the group that kept us free. I can’t rest in between the songs when Kanye would endorse Donald Trump who has never done a thing for black people but says that this is the way that is going to give us resources,” Bryant continued in the wake of Trump’s visit.
(Commentary on West begins at around the 1 hour 10-minute mark.)
Last Friday, President Trump reached out to African-American voters in Atlanta, arguing that his economic and criminal justice policies had done more for them than decades of false promises by Democratic leaders who he said took them for granted, The New York Times reported.
At the launch of the new campaign called “Black Voices for Trump,” in which he addressed several hundred African-American supporters who signed up to help him win another term, Trump vowed to compete for support across racial lines in the 2020 presidential race.