T.I. Says He Felt Exploited By Eager Presentation Of Collection Plates At Atlanta Church Hosting Kanye West's Sunday Service
New Birth's Pastor Jamal Bryant came to Kanye's defense and refuted T.I.'s assertions in an Instagram post.
September 26, 2019 at 1:42 am
A viral photo of T.I.'s disgruntled face captured during Kanye West's Sunday Service in Atlanta set off a back-and-forth between Tip and the pastor of New Birth ministries.
Nearly a week ago, West brought his latest musical gimmick to Atlanta, leaving some in awe and others in complete shock. The most notable critic was rapper T.I., who sat alongside wife Tiny Harris and rapper 2Chainz and his wife Kesha Ward during the service, called the event held at New Birth a cash grab. On the September 19 episode of the Atlanta activist's podcast expediTIously, Tip claimed the church rolled out the collection plates almost immediately to take advantage of the wealthy attendees.
"I cut my fellowship short at Magic City to get 45 minutes of sleep to drive by here and be accosted and basically exploited," T.I. told Killer Mike. "As soon as I sat down — mind you, I'm telling you they had already raised the offering. [The pastor] had already raised the offering — when we sat down there was a whole new agenda… It's like they rung the red bell at the Player's Club… You ain’t [about to] run no game on me. I will not be extorted."
The pastor of New Birth, Pastor Jamal Bryant, addressed the accusations hurled at his ministries. In an Instagram post published a day after the podcast, Bryant listed the church's recent charitable actions, including giving to Bennett College, in response. The lengthy redress also revealed the church's financial woes before Bryant came on as leader nine months ago. Apparently, the church was 30 million in debt and collections would help alleviate the financial burden.
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To my comrades @troubleman31 & @killermike let me first say I appreciate your unwavering commitment to the empowerment of this generation. We have echoed the same sentiments on many issues down through the years and was energized by the partnership. I was awakened to your clip this morning and felt compelled to lend context. To have both of you in church was meaningful for many reasons. This is the largest demographic of blacks who don’t buy into organized religion in our history and in large measure because of reasons you have illuminated. To not give redress would be an assault to the body of Christ when I believe I am an ambassador as the two of you are for your field. I don’t want Sunday to be used as further ammunition as to why people don’t go to church without them knowing at this same church we gave 5000 pairs of new back to school shoes to kids of #Atlanta, or that we spearheaded 9 million campaign to support @bennett_college , or that we bailed out nonviolent offenders or that we partnered with @delta to send 4 cargo to #Bahamas for hurricane release or that we’ve partnered with @_hamptonu to place 95 displaced students or that we fed the furloughed workers for two weeks while the government was shut down or that we went into housing projects to feed kids of #dekalb county during spring break. For none of these projects were you solicited for a donation.The reality is when I came to @newbirthmbc 9 months ago I was met with a 30 million dollar debt that must be paid so that we can be free to do real community development like affordable housing ,entrepreneur work space and medical clinics. I’ve been teaching on self help which are values you both promote. @bishophilliard was invited months ago with no knowledge #kanyewest was coming or either of you. So there was NO money grab intention but part of an internal strategy to mobilize our church community to move towards economic independence. As black men I hope we can come together “expeditiously” to find common ground to build. 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! #runthejewels #bigthingspoppin
"As black men I hope we can come together 'expeditiously' to find common ground to build," Bryant wrote. "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!"
According to Rolling Stone, the Sunday Service is part of the rollout of West's ninth studio album, Jesus Is King. The album has been billed to be a heavily gospel-influenced addition to his oeuvre. The outlet reports the album, set to be released this week, has been pushed back until further notice.
Although words were exchanged, T.I. and Bryant plan on reconnecting and settling differences at a later date, Complex reports.