Kanye West, a popular rapper and music producer who recently announced that he will only make Christian music, said in a video published by XXL that some record labels have artists sign contracts that prohibit them from talking about Jesus in their music.
During a Sunday Service performance in Miami before the Super Bowl, West said artists are sometimes faced with the requirement of "selling their souls" to get a major label deal.
"God is using us to show off, to show God is better than the devil," West said of the success of his Christian music. "The devil took all the producers, the musicians, the designers. He moved us all out to Hollywood, moved us all out to New York. Chasing gold statues. Literally signing a contract and selling our souls.
"The got contracts out there that say 'you can't say Jesus,'" West continued. "When we were working on this album, people were coming to the studio just to say 'Jesus' as loud as they wanted to. You can say 'Jesus' in 'Ye studio."
A Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Bizzle responded to West's remarks by sharing a quote from one of his songs, in which he makes a similar claim.
"I told 'em I am not for sale and won't promote evil; they told me I can give you murder, but no Jesus; the devil's in this game handpicking your leaders; that's why you get 100 dope boys and no preachers," Bizzle raps in the song titled, "Lit Lit."
West did not get specific about how common such contracts are which might prohibit artists from making music with overtly Christian themes, or what the specific restrictions might be. Some popular mainstream artists, such as Chance the Rapper, speak about faith in Jesus Christ often and openly, although those references are often mixed in with explicit content and do not constitute music that would be classified in a Christian genre.
(H/T Relevant Magazine)