When Kanye West’s “Sunday Service” descended on New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta last weekend, rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris attended the praise and worship ceremony, but the experience left Tip feeling “exploited.”
Last Monday, T.I. posted a picture to his Instagram of himself, wife Tiny, 2 Chainz and his wife Kesha Ward, all sitting front row at the event. He captioned the clip “Yeaaahhh Maaaan We MUST discuss what caused this look on my face in Sunday Service…. #Expeditiously”
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As he promised, T.I. later sat down with Killer Mike on the latest episode of his ExpediTIously podcast to discuss why he was so upset.
“I cut my fellowshiping 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.”
Pastor Jamal Bryant of New Birth caught wind of the criticism, and took to Instagram to deny the allegations in a lengthy response to T.I. and Killer Mike.
View this post on Instagram
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
And T.I., in the comments ,responded as well, in a more conciliatory manner:
Nothing but Love and Respect for you @jamalhbryant I’m still shoulder to shoulder in the struggle with you. Pardon my progress…U know God still has me under construction😉. Our views may differ on some matters,but we are both aligned and move in unison on behalf of our people. So yes of course we can come together… I never considered us separated or torn apart. Im always willing to sit and fellowship with you or anybody else who institute change & make significant steps toward progress for our people. Don’t know how soon I’ll be in your neck of the woods again tho so maybe another venue would better enable us to meet “ExpediTIously”
I’m here when you need me…Just as I always have been. Take it light,& continue to pray for me.🙏🏽 Lord knows I need it😇
Perhaps these men can use their phones to actually have a conversation, now that the grievance – and response – have been aired publicly.
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