Kanye West mixed religion and politics during his so-called Sunday Service session in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, where he spoke about Jesus, his affection for President Donald Trump and his disdain for social media.
Standing at the center with a crowd of thousands gathered around him in a plaza, West talked about Jesus, as he typically does during these weekly services, before going on to defend his support of Trump and the Republican party.
As the Deseret News reported, the rapper pivoted to politics after noting that slaves had been freed under President Abraham Lincoln, America’s first Republican president.
“They try to tell me because of my color who I’m supposed to pick as the president,” West said in videos that attendees recorded at the service.
“You’re black, so you can’t like Trump,” he said, imitating his critics.
Then, West declared: “I ain’t never made a decision only based on my color. That’s a form of slavery. Mental slavery.”
Between 7,000 to 10,000 people attended West’s service, the Deseret News reported.
West also urged his audience to not engage on social media.
“Do not read comments on the internet. These people don’t know you like that. Social media is designed to make you think slower,” he said, according to a reporter at the event.
The event was thrown together last minute, according to the Deseret News, and held in an outdoor segment of a shopping and events center in downtown Salt Lake City.
West’s so-called Sunday Service took place in the middle of another large religious event: a two-day conference hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The 21-time Grammy Award winner had also commented on “mental slavery” during a controversial interview with TMZ Live in 2018, in which he suggested that Black people chose to be slaves.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said.
“Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison,” West told TMZ. “I like the word ‘prison’ because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. It’s like slavery, Holocaust. Holocaust, Jews. Slavery is blacks. So, prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
West is one of Trump’s most prominent supporters in the music industry and he’s spoken publicly about the backlash he has faced for holding these political views.
“Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters,” the rapper once told host David Letterman.
In that same interview, which was released in May, West told Letterman that he’s never voted in an election.
“I’ve never voted in my life,” West said.