West’s decision to focus his first opera on Nebuchadnezzar was hinted at earlier this month when he spoke with Apple Music’s Beats 1 host Zane Lowe about his Yeezus tour. “[God] is saying, 'Let me take this Nebuchadnezzar-type character'—Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon—and he looked at his entire kingdom and said, I did this,” said West. “I stood on the top of the mountain talking about Yeezus, saying, ‘I’m a God’—I had a guy dressed as Jesus.”West also talked about the ancient king’s mental health issues and related them to himself, with West diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016. “Nebuchadnezzar was diagnosed with bipolar disorder...and he was still king!”West’s opera announcement wasn’t his only major news this weekend. The Chicago native also made an appearance at pastor Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas on Sunday morning. The service, which has an average attendance of 50,000 plus an estimated 10 million viewers streaming each week, included performances of West’s songs, including “Jesus Walks” and “Closed On Sunday” from his new album Jesus Is King.
Invite artwork by Nick Knight pic.twitter.com/U7IBqe1Gxk— ye (@kanyewest) November 17, 2019
West also spent time on stage preaching alongside Osteen, with the musician remembering his time in the hospital following a breakdown during his 2016 Saint Pablo tour. “When I was in my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me, and I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a mental breakdown and there’s documentation of me drawing a church and [wanting to] start a church in the middle of Calabasas,” said West. “Because every time I stand up, I feel that I’m standing up and drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘I’m here in service to God and no weapon formed against me shall prosper,’” he said.
CLOSED ON SUNDAY.??@kanyewest @lakewoodchurch pic.twitter.com/VHtd3heM3r— Kanye Source (@KanyeSource) November 18, 2019
Though Kanye has declared that he's a servant of God now and ready to be "radically obedient" to a higher power, he also told the Lakewood crowd that "now the greatest artist that God has ever created is working for him" so he's still very much his own hype man.West’s wife Kim Kardashian was in the front row for the Lakewood service, with the couple also using their trip to Houston to continue Kardashian’s efforts with prison reform. According to People, West surprised inmates at the Harris County Jail with a performance on Friday while Kardashian met with death row inmate Rodney Reed, who had his execution suspended on Friday.
Kanye West opens up about serving God at #LakewoodChurch pic.twitter.com/nEi3st15wP— Music News & Media (@RapWatchHD) November 17, 2019