T.I. claims he was basically the victim of a shake down when he went out of his way to attend Kanye West‘s recent Georgia Sunday Service. He unloaded during his latest ExpediTIously podcast and claims he was “exploited” when he showed up with wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris and pal 2 Chainz and his wife Kesha Ward. “I cut my fellowshipping short at Magic City to get 45 minutes of sleep to drive by here and be accosted and basically exploited,” T.I. told close friend and guest Killer Mike during the podcast. The service went down in tiny Lithonia, GA, east of Atlanta so it was quite a drive for Tip from his home in Jonesboro, far south of the metropolis.
“As soon as I sat down — mind you, I’m telling you they had already raised the offering. [The pastor] had already raised the offering — when we sat down there was a whole new agenda. There’s two multimillionaires — three including Tameka — in the front row and they rung the red bell at The Players Club, you know what I’m saying? You ain’t [about to] run no game on me. I will not be extorted,” Tip continued.
T.I. hinted that he was not impressed by the service when he posted this photo to his Instagram on Sept. 18, showing him in the front row with an angry scowl on his face. He captioned it, “Yeaaahhh Maaaan We MUST discuss what caused this look on my face in Sunday Service….” he captioned the pic and noted that it would happen on his podcast ExpediTIously.
Pastor Jamal Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where the Sunday Service was held, wrote a lengthy Instagram response to Tip. “I was awakened to your clip this morning and felt compelled to lend context. To have both of you in church was meaningful for many reasons. This is the largest demographic of blacks who don’t buy into organized religion in our history and in large measure because of reasons you have illuminated. To not give redress would be an assault to the body of Christ when I believe I am an ambassador as the two of you are for your field,” he began.
Pastor Jamal then went on to detail all of the charitable causes the church has helped and the good works they’ve done. He then wrote, “@bishophilliard was invited months ago with no knowledge #kanyewest was coming or either of you. So there was NO money grab intention but part of an internal strategy to mobilize our church community to move towards economic independence. As black men I hope we can come together ‘expeditiously’ to find common ground to build. I want to invite both of you to come and give church another chance. I promise you I’m more interested in your life than your life savings!”
Tip was open to his offer. He wrote in the comments, “Our views may differ on some matters, but we are both aligned and move in unison on behalf of our people. So yes of course we can come together…I never considered us separated or torn apart. I’m always willing to sit and fellowship with you or anybody else who institute change & make significant steps toward progress for our people.”