The saga of Kanye West’s cannonball into Christianity continues apace following the release of Jesus Is King. Now he’s made an appearance on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” which, in this case, takes place on an airplane. This results in the usual hijinks Corden engages in with his artist pals, including some throwback classics and West’s new, gospel-indebted songs, all involving West’s mesmerizing, hugely charismatic gospel choir. Fans’ mileage on Jesus Is King is varying a little but there’s no denying the power of these jams live.
The segment also gives us Kanye’s thoughts on faith, which run a curious gamut, including his belief that “God is using me to show off.”
“Last year I made $115 million and still ended up $35 million in debt,” Kanye says. “This year I looked up, and I just got $68 million returned to me on my tax returns.”
“People need to hear [from] someone that has been put into debt by the system, talk about these type of numbers now that they’re in service to Christ,” he continued.
“So you think your spiritual awakening is part of—” Corden starts.
“My success,” Kanye finishes for him. “Absolutely.”
West also talks more openly about his Sunday Services than he has in the past, and has apparently erased whatever internal line between “church” and “performance” ever existed.
There is undoubtedly some intriguing stuff here.
“God’s always had a plan for me,” Kanye tells Corden. “He always wanted to use me. But I think He wanted me to suffer more and wanted people to see my suffering and see my pain and put stigmas on me and have me go through all the human experiences. So now when I talk about Jesus saved me, more people can relate to that experience.”
“There’s a lot of people that were praying for me,” Kanye says, alluding to two of his more infamous incidents: drunkenly interrupting Taylor Swift at the MTV Movie Awards and serving as creative director for adult video site Pornhub’s awards. He says his family had been praying for him through all those incidents and credits their answered prayers for his new trajectory.
He also speaks rapturously of his wife, Kim Kardashian-West.
“It’s more than cool,” he says. “It’s heavenly.” He says he no longer enjoys going out at night and prefers hanging out at home with his family at home, “reading the Bible.”
That all sounds awfully wholesome. Of course, West’s tax break windfall probably has less to do with his conversion experience than it does President Donald Trump’s tax plan, which gave huge breaks to people in the Kardashian-West tax bracket. So, there’s some necessary nuance when it comes to discussing West’s theology but, again, the power of the music being performed here is pretty undeniable.
“I don’t know if it’s the plane or the altitude or just because we’re in the sky,” Corden says at one point. “But I am starting to feel closer to God.”