Kanye West’s weekly Sunday Service made its way to Atlanta this past Sunday (Sept. 22) at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The city’s hip-hop luminaries rolled out the red carpet for the event and things went off without a hitch—for the most part. Unfortunately, one moment from the event quickly went viral for the wrong reasons.
A photograph of T.I. and his wife, Tiny, seated next to 2 Chainz and his wife, Kesha Ward, in the front row, made its rounds online. In the picture, T.I. has a noticeably stank look on his face, which caught the attention of social media.
He later acknowledged the look on Instagram, and then spilled the details behind it on his podcast, "Expeditiously."
As promised, he later delved into exactly what happened that elicited such a strong response on his podcast. Joined by Killer Mike, who also attended Ye’s Atlanta service, T.I. recalled arriving at the service just after the offering had been collected. T.I., Tiny, 2 Chainz, and his wife were seated in the front row, which T.I. says he immediately found suspicious. Then, the pastor, identified as celebrity pastor Jamal Bryant, came back out and asked for another round of offering, calling on 20 people to each donate $1,000.
He added, "It’s not that I have a thing against pastors or against preachers, so to speak. It’s just that I've been raised in the trenches, and I was taught to peep game. You ain’t finna run no game on me. I will not be extorted.”
“To have both of you in church was meaningful for many reasons,” he began before listing off good deeds his church has done.
He continued: “This is the largest demographic of Blacks who don’t buy into organized religion in our history and in large measure because of reasons you have illuminated... There was no money grab intention but part of an internal strategy to mobilize our church community to move towards economic independence... I want to invite you to come and give church another chance. I promise you I’m more interested in your life than your life savings!”
...T.I. responded in Bryant’s comments that he has nothing but "love and respect" for the pastor. He further expressed that he would be down for another meeting with the spiritual leader, just “maybe [at] another venue.”
Read Pastor Bryant’s response in full below.
(Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage)