Gospel Artist Marvin Sapp Not a Fan of Kanye West’s Foray Into Gospel Music

Many artists outside of the gospel genre have released or been featured in gospel albums, and the actual gospel artists may feel some type of way about it.

Gospel singer Marvin Sapp shared his thoughts on rapper Kanye West and his transition into the gospel genre.

During an interview with VladTV, Sapp discussed how secular artists like West cross over into gospel music and create faith-based albums. Sapp expressed how he was not impressed with West’s attempts to dominate the gospel music space even though he has been awarded multiple recognitions for his albums under the gospel genre.

“Gospel music is the only genre that allows people from outside of its genre to do records and be nominated in its genre. As a gospel artist I couldn’t do a hip hop song and be nominated in a hip hop category,” Sapp said.”

According to TMZ, West made his first pivot into the gospel space in 2019 when he released his gospel-themed album, Jesus is King, deeming himself the greatest human artist of all time.

Although the album received criticism, it rose to the top of the Billboard charts under the Rap, R&B/Hip-Hop, Christian, and Gospel albums charts landing West a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album. However, Sapp said he does not think it is fair for artists like West to be topping the charts under the gospel genre.

“Do I think it’s fair? Now that I think about it, it’s not,” Sapp said. “What happens is, it ends up eclipsing those of us who really do this for the genre and as a lifestyle.”

“It’s kind of wrong for me to say it like this, but I’ve been nominated for everything,” Sapp shared. “I’ve won more awards than most people will ever win. So I’m cool with that. Maybe I’m cool with it because I’m looking at it differently, but I can absolutely sympathize with up-and-coming artists when you look at Billboard and Kanye’s whole record is, like, [No.] 1 through 40 of our genre.”

“Just because you do a gospel song doesn’t make you a gospel artist,” Sapp said.

Sapp believes that when artists commit to being gospel performers and making music about God, living a Christian lifestyle is a part of that.

Currently, West ranks as the No. 1 gospel artist on the Billboard charts.