R&B Singer Tyrese Says Kanye West Uses Religion to Manipulate Fans

Kanye West expanded his musical profile when he began his Sunday Service a year ago. His movement has been met with both praise and criticism, with many highlighting his growth as an artist and a businessman – and others believe he’s using the gospel genre to push his brand further and is insincere. One person who believes the latter is R&B singer and star of The Fast and the Furious franchise, Tyrese.

Kanye West and Tyrese
Kanye West, and Tyrese 2005 | KMazur/WireImage

Tyrese says Kanye West uses religion to manipulate fans

Tyrese has become notorious for giving his opinions on all things pop culture and on social issues. He’s also credited his career success to his religious beliefs but when it comes to West’s transition, Tyrese is not convinced. In an interview with Hollywood Unlocked’s Jason Lee, Tyrese held nothing back. 

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“I’ll never forget when they said when the world turns their back on you, meaning black people, all you gotta do is talk about Jesus and you’ll get whatever you want,” Tyrese said about Kanye West. “They’ll go from turning their back on you to rocking with you again. You just gotta heavily talk about Jesus.”

Tyrese doesn’t deny that West has tapped into another audience and genre – and more specifically that he’s introduced his fans to something new, but he believes that West has a hidden agenda.

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Prayers are welcome! If you know me? If you truly know you me… You will know that another movie another tv show or press release is NOT what is fulfilling…. I will be one of the biggest charitable givers out there!!!! There are a LOT of people out here chasing that next THING!!!!! I am a multi billionaire in my mind with a team and staff of over 20,000+ employees I am the chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company I am a DREAMER who will like Amazonian the iphone like the Walmart family, like Disney I will be the CEO of a necessary company that people completely RELY on people wont remember what life was like PRIOR to my companies presence…… When I do movies and concerts literally as soon as the money is made I dump into my VISIONS!!!!!!!!!! If you truly truly know me you will know THIS is my vision!!!!! Understand my heart is grateful for every opportunity that has landed in my lap over these last 20 years….. But it’s TIME to be on the cover of TIME magazine…. It’s TIME to be on the cover of FORBES…… I see myself hiding and becoming even more isolated and coming out of hiding when I absolutely HAVE to….. Father God you I hope and pray to be granted the deep desires of my HEART!!!! Here’s a scripture for all of the GOOD people we have in this world who wanna do the RIGHT things with their wealth…. “Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed c ; the offspring of the wicked will perish. 29The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever” Psalm 37 to all of the entrepreneurial hearts out there stay encouraged and continue to drown out HATERS who don’t see your life the way YOU see it..!!!! #VoltronEnterprisesChairman

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“Me personally, nothing about Kanye – and I’m not trying to be politically correct because I would definitely tell people how I felt about Kanye if I had feelings about Kanye – but I just think ultimately, we all get to a place where we embrace our spirituality at whatever level we embrace it,” he continued. “But if you’re using God as a form of manipulation, God knows your heart and I don’t care what kind of power and influence you have.”

Tyrese warned that God will “deal with” anyone who uses religion as a come up. 

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Kanye Wests’s Sunday Service has been a huge hit but has also faced wide criticism

In the beginning of 2019, West began holding hour-long sessions at different locations where he’d invite people to. The music would consist of gospel songs with hip hop undertones and would be used as a sermon of sorts, as opposed to a traditional church service. The movement became known as Sunday Service.

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Just finished my homework:)

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Outside of fans, West’s peers also became mesmerized and it began to get larger and gain more traction. After his performance at Coachella, Pitchfork wrote that the performance was “a sacrilegious mess” while critiquing it as a mere marketing tool to get him to the next level.

“He’s content to let discombobulated, at-times-pitchy singers in pajamas wander across a hill and call it gospel,” it read.

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The New Yorker called Sunday Service “self-promoting,” noting that West, who had been against reality television, began making appearances alongside his wife on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which many believed was all a ploy to advertise his upcoming projects. 

West used his Sunday Service expansion to release a gospel – rap album, Jesus Is King. The album was met with mixed reviews, but it landed on Rolling Stone’s list of the best hip hop albums of 2019, coming in at number 16. 

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“Jesus Is King is filled with moments of genius — nearly every song on the record contains a musical phrase, an idea, a line that makes it clear he’s still one of the best to ever do it — without often attempting to stretch those out for an entire song,” the blurb read in part.

Regardless of the split opinions, West continues Sunday Service and insists that he’s on a spiritual journey.