Kanye West Almost Gave Up Rap Music For 1 Wild Reason

When you think about the greatest rappers to ever do it, Kanye West likely comes to mind.

His debut album, College Dropout, alone was groundbreaking in that it offered a sound that was unlike anything else that was popular at the time. Following the success of the project, West released a trove of other critically-acclaimed albums such as Graduation, Late Registration, 808s & Heartbreak, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy — and his legacy in the industry continues to grow today.

For all that he’s accomplished, the mere thought of him almost giving it up is pretty wild. But he allegedly did come really close to walking away from rap music. Here’s why.

Kanye West speaking during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House
Kanye West speaking during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House | Photo by Oliver Contreras – Pool/Getty Images

Why West almost gave up rap music

West’s pastor, Adam Tyson, recently revealed the reason the Yeezy designer almost gave up rap in an interview on a Christian-based podcast, Apologia. Apparently, West once told him that he wanted to quit because the music was unholy.

“One time, he told me that he wasn’t going to rap,” Tyson recalled around the 23:30 mark. “I said, ‘Why not?’” to which West replied: “‘That’s the devil’s music.'” 

“I said, ‘Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God,'” the pastor continued. “I think he was already thinking about it a little bit, but I definitely said, ‘Hey, bro. I think you need to use your talents that God’s given you and use that platform for God.'” 

So, Tyson claimed, he pushed West to pursue Christian rap instead.

“In fact, I asked him, ‘Hey man, have you heard of Lecrae?’ He’s like, ‘No.’ [So I asked], ‘Have you heard of Flame, Tedashii, Trip Lee?’ He hadn’t heard of any of those guys,'” Tyson added. “I’m sure he’s heard of them now […] All I’m trying to do is to help him be rooted and grounded in God’s word.”

West seemingly took his advice

In September, West reportedly announced that he would no longer make secular music. Instead, he’s only creating gospel “from here on out.”

Don’t believe him? He’s already scrapped his Yandhi album in exchange for the gospel album, Jesus Is King, which comes out on Oct. 25, along with an accompanying IMAX film.

West has also continued to hold his Sunday Service event around the world. Each week, the “Jesus Walks” rapper travels to a new location and puts on the show, which is basically a pop-up church experience.

When explaining it to David Letterman on the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, West said: “It’s just an idea that we had to open up our hearts and make music that we felt was as pure and as positive as possible. And just do it for an hour every Sunday and have something where people can come together and feel good with their families.”

His wife, Kim Kardashian West, explained it similarly to Elle. “[The church], it’s honestly more like a healing experience for my husband,” she explained. “It’s just music; there’s no sermon. It’s definitely something he believes in—Jesus—and there’s a Christian vibe. But there’s no preaching. It’s just a very spiritual Christian experience.”

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So, while he might not do the music fans are used to, he’s at least giving them something.