Last week, Billboard magazine announced that billionaire artist Kanye West was the Top Gospel Artist of 2021, as well as the Top Christian Artist. This is the third year in a row that West has been bestowed that title based on the number of gospel hits he has garnered on the Billboard charts. This didn’t sit well with another gospel artist.
The Shade Room Church posted the unveiling of West’s latest accomplishment on its Instagram account. Gospel artist Pastor Mike McClure Jr. who goes by Pastor Mike Jr. has some accomplishments of his own as a recording artist. Earlier this summer, he won 2021 Artist of the Year at The Stellar Awards. He was nominated for seven awards and took home three. Winning Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for his hit song I Got It and Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year for “Big: Freedom Sessions.”
Pastor Mike Jr, evidently unmoved by the proclamation responded to the news writing the following statement:
“Kanye West isn’t a Gospel Artist. He’s a rapper who did a gospel album. Ye is an inspiration musically PERIOD. So many people are afraid to speak truth for fear of being cancelled! Something about this doesn’t feel right, and I believe we have to speak up. As cool as the Donda listening party was it felt so demonic. So NAH”
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There has been discord in years past when non-traditional Gospel artists have won honors. One Instagram user, king_davidlindseyjr had commented to Pastor Mike Jr. that he was only upset that he lost out to Ye as “no one complained” when fellow Hip-Hop artist Snoop Dogg had previously won Best Gospel Artist.
Most users agreed with Pastor Mike in terms of Ye winning and ksweet79 may have expressed it best when she commented, “But he’s not a Gospel artist. He’s a rap artist who did a Gospel album. There’s a difference.”