Kanye West talks overcoming problems with alcohol: “Every day I don’t pick up that drink, I beat the devil.”

The rapper spoke to the crowd during his appearance at Awaken 2020 in Arizona.

January 19, 2020
Kanye West talks overcoming problems with alcohol: “Every day I don’t pick up that drink, I beat the devil.”

Kanye West's appearance at evangelical event Awaken 2020 came complete with a testimony, according to Complex, as the rapper touched on his beliefs, mental health and something he hasn't been particularly open about in the past: his struggle with alcohol.

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The rapper along with his Sunday Service choir performed "Jesus Walks" before West began speaking directly to the audience about considering himself a "Trojan horse for God"⁠—having begun his career with secular music before moving towards a Gospel-heavy sound⁠—and how his spiritual journey has improved his mental health. "I've been to the mental hospital and back, working for the devil," he said. "But Jesus saves. No matter how long you've been away, no matter how long you've been in the dark, the light is right there, ready to save. To give you the confidence."

Kanye has always been fairly open about his vices, including porn and opioids, but he shared his struggles with alcohol; making reference to the infamous 2009 VMAs when he showed up Hennessy in hand on the red carpet and later crashed the stage as Taylor Swift was accepting an award. "I was drinking on the red carpet, and then running on stage a few minutes later," he said about the evening in question. "And everyone around said, 'Nah, he ain't really no alcoholic.'"

He went to explain that he was able to curb his habit after nearly getting a drink one afternoon. "There was some vodka in the refrigerator at my office, and sometimes I would just go ahead and take a drink from it in the middle of the day, and I was walking toward that kitchenette area, and I stopped myself and I said, 'Devil you're not gonna finna beat me today,'" he told the audience. "Every day that I don't pick up that drink, I beat the devil."

The 10-hour prayer rally took place in Tempe, Arizona, with West facing criticism for his headlining set as the event also featured known anti-LGBTQ leaders.

Watch the full performance below.

Kanye West talks overcoming problems with alcohol: “Every day I don’t pick up that drink, I beat the devil.”