As Christian communities light up in dialogue over Kanye West’s conversion and recent album, the rapper opened up about his faith journey in a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1.
“This is such a win for the Kingdom,” Kanye said, according to Faithwire. “For Kanye to come back home, from going from ‘Jesus Walks’ to ‘I Love It’, to say to God, ‘I tried it my way, it’s not working out. Everything is in shambles. I’m ending up in debt, making this money but still ending up in debt. My public standing is in shambles. I’m not in good shape. I’m having ups and downs with my health. People calling me crazy. People not wanting to sit with me. I had to just give it up to God.”
West recently moved to a ranch in Wyoming with his family. When Lowe asked him what he hopes the ranch will be in 20 years, West acknowledged that he didn’t know, that God would give him direction.
“I have some visions,” he said, “but the more that I’m in service to God, I just clear my head and wake up more empty every day and let God do the driving and just use me as he may. You make plans, and God laughs.”
Over the past year, West has slowly changed after his conversion last April, becoming more at peace with God and seeking Him in his work. He recently committed to abandoning secular music and pledged to only make gospel music. His latest album, ‘Jesus is King’, is loaded with praise songs and Scripture references.
In the interview, he acknowledged that he has struggled with a “rude spirit” and prays to have more grace in his speech. He also admitted that an addiction to pornography caused him to make poor decisions and fueled his ego.
“Playboy was my gateway into full-blown pornography addiction,” he said. “My dad had a Playboy left out at age 5, and it’s affected almost every choice I made for the rest of my life. From age 5 to now having to kick the habit. And it just presents itself in the open, like it’s OK. And I stand up and say, you know, it’s not OK.”
He also referred to the 2009 Taylor Swift incident in which he interrupted her acceptance speech. “That Playboy that I found when I was 5 years old was written all over the moment that I was at the MTV Awards,” he said. “… My mom had passed a year before, and I had said, ‘Some people drown themselves in drugs. And I drown myself in my addiction.’ Sex. That’s what fed the ego, too. Money, clothes, cars, accolades, social media, paparazzi photos, going to Paris fashion week, all of that.”
But now that West has accepted Christ, he sees his mission much more clearly. “Everything I do, even designing a shoe, is for the Church … It’s my only mission and calling, is to spread the gospel.”