This weekend, in a long-awaited episode, Kanye West appeared as a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. West has been under heat the past year over his dramatic shift towards Christianity, with some pointing to his previous mental health struggles as proof that he’s spiraling again.  While the media tends to write him off for his oftentimes unconventional thoughts, Rogan in his usual style showed an interest in many of West’s ideas and motives, letting him expand on and explain them in a three-hour interview. 

1. West says God called him to be “the leader of the free world.”
West is still running for president but could only get his name on a handful of state ballots. Early on in Rogan’s interview, Kanye said “God put it on [his] heart” in the shower to run for president because he would be a “great leader.” West says that he “brings people together” and would work wonders for U.S. foreign policy. He also said that leadership, in its essence, is “service to God and people.”  

2. West doesn’t resonate with the theology of “original sin.”
Actually as a relatively new Christian, West may not be familiar with the theology of original sin, an important doctrine to the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestants. But he mentioned, “there are people that are possessed and have demonic ways but we were all children at one time. Even the devil is an angel—a fallen angel.” West kept harkening back to the idea that “we are all children” and that the world makes us into fallen entities. 

3. West’s famous “Sunday Services” kickstarted his religious transformation.
After West released “Jesus is King,” he began to get in touch with his religious roots. He claimed that he had “not been saved” by God until months of Sunday Services. He highlighted how it allowed him to use his rapping gifts because “all things can be made good for God.” He said that after his first Sunday, he never missed a service until the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. West is a fan of expository preaching.
In the interview, West frequently mentioned one of the pastors for Sunday Services, Pastor Adam. West critiqued many popular evangelical preachers by saying that they don’t deliver enough of “the Word” in their sermons. Expository preaching focuses on a particular passage or lines of scripture to explain their meaning and significance to people today.

5. West claims to have been religious his entire life. 
West joked that he was religious all his life, “until high school.” But in seriousness, he also claimed that during all of the ups and downs in his career, he has maintained a relationship with God, though it may not have seemed like it through his lyrics and lifestyle. That changed when “God knocked me off my horse,” West said. “He called me to serve him and I was tired of serving the music industry.” 

6. West is building a fully sustainable monastery along with a “gospel university.” 
Using DONDA, West’s creative content company, he is building a modern monastery along with a gospel university, which he is “making the Colosseum for God.” His goal for the university is to create a space for “100,000 people in harmony and in union.” It’s not clear if an existing denomination would be associated with the monastery or if West is creating a new church, which seems more likely.

7. West denies the claims that he has bipolar disorder, saying that “they were trying to kill a superhero; they were trying to kill a genius.”
Recently, critics have claimed that West is simply “off his meds,” and is going through a manic episode. “They told me I was bipolar,” West said. “They medicated me for saying ‘slavery is a choice.’” In the interview, Rogan asks West if that statement was taken out of context because he meant slavery by contract, like in the music industry, is a choice, not slavery by abduction or trafficking. After months of trying different medications, West declared that he had enough. “Every medication is a disconnect from God,” West said. 

8. Leaning on God has helped West learn to be less of a “prick.”
West mentioned that before he was solely dependent on God, he had issues with jealousy and over-competitiveness within the music industry. West said, “I am leaning on God to not be the prick that’s jealous of people innovating.” He described the industry now as something that he sees as the “relay race of humanity,” with people passing ideas to one another in hopes to reach the finish line of success. 

9. West fears God—and nothing else, he says.
“If you instill the fear of God, you eliminate the fear of anything else,” West said. “Fear is the disease attacking the world.” He mentioned that because he follows a “righteous path” for God, he doesn’t have to worry about anything else, including COVID-19. 

10. West described himself as like “Deadpool for God.”
West described himself on this Earth as here to serve, following his strict moral compass that is heavily influenced by evangelical Christianity. Deadpool is irreverent and unapologetic—just like West in and out of the music industry. They both are fighting for their perceived “good” in different ways, and they’re not willing to budge. 

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