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HomeNewsKirk Franklin Prays Over Prostrate Kanye West During ‘SNL’ Performance

Kirk Franklin Prays Over Prostrate Kanye West During ‘SNL’ Performance


Photo Credit: Hulu/NBC

Kanye West‘s Swish, Waves, The Life of Pablo continues to fascinate and frustrate Christians trying to gleam what message the artist is promoting in the project he called a “gospel album with a lot of cursing.”

While the rapper has always played with Christian themes and imagery in his music, this new effort drew even more scrutiny once it became known that gospel legend Kirk Franklin was not only in the studio with ‘Ye – but also contributing to the project.

On February 13, we received our first glimpse of that collaboration when Kanye performed the song “Ultralight Beam” on Saturday Night Live. The set featured a joyful-looking West and a choir that included his longtime friend and BET Lift Every Voice host Fonzworth Bentley and Gospel music singer Anthony Evans Jr., as well as Kelly Price and The-Dream.

It also included verses from Chance the Rapper (who recently Tweeted about his re-commitment to Christ) and Kirk Franklin literally praying over a prostrate Kanye West in Jesus’ name.

And then, in true Kanye fashion, immediately after the prayer he jumped to his feet to tell the audience his album was now available for purchase and streaming at his website and

Amazing – especially since it came just days after Rhymefest, Kanye’s “Jesus Walks” co-writer, said he had quit working on The Life of Pablo a month prior because “my brother needs help, in the form of counseling. Spiritual & mental. He should step away from the public & yesmen & heal.”

Shortly after the SNL performance aired, Kirk Tweeted that he was “ready to talk about Kanye West” and directed people to his Instagram account where he posted this:

Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with. No sprints, but Marathons; like most of us are on. Before one song was released, I was crucified because my brother asked me to take a picture. Again “no Kanye, you’re not good enough”? No. That is a dangerous message I believe we send to the world when our posture is they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring. It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace. That my friend is religious. I will not turn my back on my brother. I will love him, prayerfully grow with him. However long he’ll have me, and however long the race takes. To a lot of my Christian family, I’m sorry he’s not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace…and as I read some of your comments, neither am I. That won’t stop me from running. Pray we win.

A photo posted by Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) on

Watch the performance below and let us know your thoughts.

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Sketch the Journalist is a freelance hiphop writer living in the thriving country metropolis of Cut-N-Shoot, Texas. Down with gospel rap since Stephen Wiley’s “Bible Break” in 1986, he has chewed, reviewed, and interviewed most of Christian hiphop’s major players. Sketch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Sam Houston State University and was once an intern at the New York Times Houston Bureau. You can follow Sketch on Twitter @Sketchthej or log-on to

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