Marvin Sapp Says Kanye West Winning Gospel Awards Was Unfair

Gospel music legend Marvin Sapp has weighed in on Kanye West‘s pivot to religious music, which started a few years ago.

While appearing on VladTV, Sapp explained that he wasn’t impressed with the rapper’s stint in gospel music, Rolling Out reports.

West has expressed his faith in his music here and there throughout his career, but he took it to the next level in 2019, when he dropped Jesus Is King. The album raised a few eyebrows, and many were skeptical as to whether it should be deemed gospel music.

Nevertheless, the album did extremely well. According to TMZ, its the first album ever to top the Billboard 200, Rap, R&B/Hip-Hop, Christian and Gospel albums charts at the same time. It even gave West a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album.

Looking back on the father of four’s win, Saap said he feels the honor was misplaced.

“Do I think it’s fair? Now that I think about it, it’s not,” Sapp said. “What happens is, it ends up eclipsing those of us who really do this for the genre and as a lifestyle.”

New artists whose sound is more traditionally gospel felt usurped by West and robbed of a chance to have their work recognized. Sapp said he understands where they’re coming from, though he does not share their perspective.

“It’s kind of wrong for me to say it like this, but I’ve been nominated for everything,” he shared. “I’ve won more awards than most people will ever win. So I’m cool with that. Maybe I’m cool with it because I’m looking at it differently, but I can absolutely sympathize with up-and-coming artists when you look at Billboard and Kanye’s whole record is, like, [No.] 1 through 40 of our genre.”

According to Sapp, being a gospel artist is about much more than charting the gospel charts every now and again.

“Just because you do a gospel song doesn’t make you a gospel artist,” Sapp said, suggesting that a commitment to making music about God and living a Christian lifestyle is a part of being a gospel performer.

Sapp released his 15th studio album, Substance, in June.