Kanye West has performed his Sunday Service at two Harris County jails ahead of another eagerly awaited concert at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday.
The rapper performed songs from his Jesus is King album for more than 200 men at the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, before walking through an underground tunnel system to perform another show for a smaller group of female inmates at the Baker Street Jail.
West told the inmates in a video released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office: “This is a mission, not a show.”
As West’s performance neared a conclusion, many of the male inmates who were wearing orange prison scrubs could be seen kneeling down in prayer together.
In his other performance, many of the women inmates were recorded crying as they sung along to lyrics sung by West and his gospel choir.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott praised West’s decision to visit the jail, posting a
message on Twitter Saturday saying, “What Kanye West does to inspire the incarcerated is transformative. Saving one soul at a time. Inmates who turn to God may get released earlier because of good behavior and may be less likely to commit future crimes. It would be great if other artists followed Kanye’s lead.”
West’s representatives reportedly contacted Sheriff Ed Gonzalez earlier in the week to request the performance at the jail. The rapper’s management team also reportedly contacted the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to offer a live concert at one of the state’s 104 prisons, but the department declined.
West is also scheduled to perform his Sunday Service concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Lakewood Church in Texas.
West spoke at Lakewood Church for 20 minutes during the 11 a.m. worship service where he asked the audience hold their applause and be completely silent to “let God flow through me as I speak to you guys today.”
West held a Question and Answer session with Pastor Joel, where he addressed his mental breakdown and openly spoke about various struggles men face in this world, such as the allure of strip clubs, which he described as sex trafficking venues, and the “spirit” of alcoholism that people struggle with.
Half of the tickets to West’s Sunday Service concert were reserved for members of Lakewood Church through a special pre-offer that required a code. However, the remaining 50 percent of tickets were released for free through Ticketmaster but were snapped up within seven seconds on Saturday morning.
Some of those who obtained tickets were fraudulently selling them online for hundreds of dollars.
A representative from Lakewood Church has said that senior pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen were excited about what God has been doing through Kanye West: “It’s really neat to see what God is doing in Kanye’s life. It will be a fantastic weekend. It’s going to bring a lot of people who have never been to Lakewood as well. Kanye has a big influence on the culture.”
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Singer / Songwriter / Voice Talent / Actor / Media Personality – Born in Syracuse, NY. He holds a bachelor of science degree in communication from Florida Institute of Technology with specialization in technical writing, business, public relations, marketing, media, promotion, and aerospace engineering.