He felt like they were coming for his wallet.
Kanye West's "Sunday Service" may have begun as a meeting of the spiritual minds in the back hills of Calabasas, but almost overnight it's become a cultural phenomenon. The famed rapper-producer's abilities to take classic hip hop and R&B hits and turn them into Jesus Jams won over many, and soon, public requests to attend one of Kanye's "services" was bountiful.
'Ye, along with his choir of singers, has taken his "Sunday Service" performance to Coachella, Watts, Chicago, Atlanta, and even Cody, Wyoming where he recently purchased a $14 million ranch. There are rumors that his next event will take place in Detroit as "Sunday Service" merch is sold and resold for hundreds into the thousands of dollars.
Recently, T.I. and his wife Tiny were captured by photographers sitting front row, center at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta along with rapper 2 Chainz and his wife Kesha Ward. The picture went viral because T.I. can be seen making what's been described as a "stank face," and on his recent episode of ExpediTIously, the rapper shared with Killer Mike why he felt "accosted" and "exploited" by the church.
T.I. said that he only attended the service to support Kanye who was slated to give one of his "Sunday Service" sets, and by the time they arrived, the offering had already been collected. However, T.I. believes that once the pastors saw three millionaires sitting in the front row, they smelled blood in the water.
"When we sat down there was a whole new agenda. It was like they rung the red bell at the Player’s Club," T.I. said. Killer Mike called it being "finessed out some money." T.I. added, "It’s not that I have [anything] against pastors or against preachers so-to-speak. It’s just I’ve been raised in the trenches and I was taught to peep game. You ain’t [about to] run no game on me. I will not be extorted.”
Pastor Bryant was made aware of T.I.'s comments and shard the ExpediTIously clip on his Instagram page with a lengthy caption. He listed off the good deeds executed by the church and said that he didn't want the complaints service to be a reason why people don't attend. "I want to invite both of you to come and give church another chance. I promise you I’m more interested in your life than your life savings!" he wrote to the rappers. T.I. replied that he has nothing but "love and respect" for Pastor Bryant and is open to meeting with him, just maybe not at church.