By the time Kim Kardashian first announced Kanye West's new album Jesus Is King, it was the logical extension of West's fulsome embrace of his Christian faith. After his highly-divisive allegiance with President Donald Trump handed him an alienated fan base and scores of new alt-right supporters, West tamped down his political persona significantly in 2019. In its place came a weekly Christian gathering known as the Sunday Service.
Although Kanye has never shied away from bringing religion into his art, Sunday Service is a new dawn. Combining Kanye's love of music, fashion, and Jesus Christ, Sunday Service is religion hand-crafted for the social media age. The Sunday Service may not influence the church as a whole, but it's already come to define this era of Kanye West almost as much as his Make America Great Again hat.
But how did it start? Where is it held? Who goes there? Read on below for a full primer:
The Sunday service is held every Sunday, and debuted on January 6, 2019
The location changes every week
According to Variety, the Service has been held on Kanye's property in Calabasas, in Burbank, and Los Angeles.
Most of the services have been invite only, and attendees are usually asked sign non-disclosure agreements
Recent gatherings in Chicago, Wyoming, and Dayton, Ohio have been open to the public.
There's a dress code for both the choir and attendees
GQ writes that the show's producer gives the choir a Yeezy-designed outfit either a few days before the week's Service or just before.
Kanye described the inspiration behind the Service on Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
"It's just an idea we had to open up our hearts to make music that we felt was as pure and as positive as possible and just do it for an hour every Sunday, and have something where people can just come together and feel good with their families."
Kanye explaining #SundayService to David Letterman. #MyNextGuestKanye pic.twitter.com/y2Tn4mmLc5— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) June 26, 2019
The choir is called "The Samples," and it's led by Jason White
The Service features gospel-inspired remixes of classic songs of different genres, and also just straight choir-led gospel tunes
GRINDIN’ - CLIPSE @PUSHA_T— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) July 30, 2019
(Sunday Service version) pic.twitter.com/nGYm22nEt0
"The power of god can't be calculated by a number, by a first week sale, by a bank account, by how many cars you drive, by how big your house is and how many acres you got."— Nigel D. (@NigelDPresents) September 15, 2019
- Kanye West pic.twitter.com/GpK96vqWzS
...and it might take place in an actual place of worship every now and then...
Sunday Service at California Worship Center in North Hollywood today. pic.twitter.com/oUR1hd8CKw— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) August 18, 2019
...but those involved insist it's not a church
Here's choir leader Tony Williams:
Lots of celebrities have been invited, and performed as well
Chance The Rapper performing ‘Ultralight Beam’ at Kanye West’s Sunday Service In Chicago. pic.twitter.com/gPoIfO82yz— DAILY R🎤PS 4EVER (@netrapsforever) September 8, 2019
David Letterman was in attendance at #SundayService in LA today. pic.twitter.com/5TqzW99nE3— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) January 13, 2019
.@kanyewest x @christuckerreal #SundayService pic.twitter.com/S67Y6l66Om— TeamKanyeDaily (@TeamKanyeDaily) September 15, 2019
After Nipsey Hussle's death, the Service paid tribute with a cover of "Forgiven" by 2 Chainz
The Sunday service played Coachella in 2019. Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla $ign helped Kanye and company play old favorites and unreleased music
kanye debuted a new song called “water” at #sundayservice 😭🌊🙏pic.twitter.com/ob0RcVtMLU— Genius (@Genius) April 21, 2019
“JESUS WALKS” 🙌@kanyewest gave a powerful performance to close out #SundayService at #Coachella pic.twitter.com/nTWPaYIYoY— billboard (@billboard) April 21, 2019
The Coachella set was controversial for its high-priced merch
The Kanye West merch store at #Coachella has sweatshirts with prices ranging from $165 to $225.— James H. Williams (@JHWreporter) April 21, 2019
There are shirts for $70 and socks for $50. pic.twitter.com/ub9LtB9rwy
Kanye's even trying to trademark the phrase "Sunday Service"
For more apparel like "bottoms, dresses, footwear, headwear, jackets, loungewear, scarves, shirts, socks, and tops."