Kanye West has been taking his famed Sunday Services on the road, and his latest stops have been in Texas, where he visited two prisons and the megachurch of televangelist Joel Osteen.
As Houston’s CBS affiliate reports, Yeezy performed secret shows at Houston’s Harris County Jail and the Baker Street Jail earlier this week.
“In secret from the public, the star rapper-turned-gospel singer performed songs Friday from his new gospel album Jesus is King,” stated Houston’s CBSDFW. “He and his choir performed for more than 200 male inmates at one jail facility before crossing the street to another jail facility and performing for a smaller crowd of female inmates.”
According to a tweet from Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, West said, “This is a mission, not a show.”
Harris County Sheriff’s Office public affairs director Jason Spencer also tweeted about the rapper’s appearance at the jail, noting that West “brought some light to people who needed it.”
West appears to be following the lead set by wife Kim Kardashian, who’s spent the past year calling for prison reform and engineering the freedom of prisoners such as Alice Johnson, who had been serving a life sentence without parole for a non-violent drug offence.
On Sunday, West played for a far bigger audience when he visited televangelist Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch, performing in front of 45,000 worshippers during a service watched by an estimated 10 million TV viewers.
Before performing, West sat down with Osteen for a conversation about faith, with West explaining that he felt God’s call while recuperating from his 2016 breakdown, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I know that God’s been calling me for a long time and the Devil’s been distracting me for a long time,” he told Osteen. “When I was in my lowest point, God was there with me.”
According to West, he had long had an “arrogance and cockiness” about his fame, but now believes that “God is now using it for Him.”
He added: “Every time I stand up, I feel that I’m standing up and drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘I’m here in service to God.'”
However, West’s famous lack of humility was also on display. “Jesus has won the victory because now the greatest artist that God has ever created is working for Him,” he declared.