January 10, 2019
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Gary Miller/Getty Images
Black Twitter gives everyone an equal opportunity to be dragged, and one of this week’s victims is Marvin Sapp. Apparently, the gospel singer thought that his connection to R. Kelly wouldn’t get brought up in the midst of the current Surviving R. Kelly era, but the Internet was quick to remind him.
Back in 2017, the “Never Would Have Made It” singer released a song called “Listen,” which featured Robert. Listen below:
In an interview with Erica Campbell on her radio show Get Up! to promote his album Close, the songwriter admitted the song was recorded before all the controversy went down. He also mentioned that prayer was a part of his reasoning behind releasing the record amidst the allegations. “After praying about it – in studying scripture – one of the things that I think that all of us in the body of Christ need to notice is that the message has always been bigger than the messenger,” he said. “I think many of us miss that. When you study scripture, you will notice that when God decided to do something great, He chose a flawed individual.” Watch the whole interview below (start at 1:26):
Sapp even revealed that he talked to his attorneys and record label about initially pulling the song off the album. The senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church went on to preach a sermonette where he brought up how God used various people throughout the Bible to do great things, despite their shortcomings to make sense of why he decided to keep the “Ignition” singer on the song. This isn’t the first time the Michigan native has spoken out about the message being greater than the messenger. In 2017, he got transparent about the support of Jay-Z‘s 4:44 album, where the rapper admitted to cheating on Beyoncé, and how the world gets what believers refuse to understand.
Although others in the music industry have come forward to say that they will no longer support Kelly, Marvin let us know that he is not the one to judge him: “No matter what people’s opinion of him are, whether it’s true or false, my responsibility isn’t to condemn, it’s to pray for, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Since this interview has resurfaced, Black Twitter hasn’t been rocking with the bishop’s logic behind his decision:
Since @marvinsapp opts NOT to condemn serial rapists, I hope he realizes that many ppl will in turn, opt out of supporting HIS music as well. #MuteRKelly is not just a trend, it empowers Black women to act in accordance w/ our best interests. Poor decisions reap consequences… pic.twitter.com/s8QDMWw19M
— Educate to Liberate LLC (@NefertariNkenge) January 6, 2019
.@marvinsapp, there are women being abused in your congregation, and pastors who take their example from you.
Everyday you stay silent and support #RKelly, you send the message that abuse of black women is permissible-especially in the church, the place we should be safest.
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) January 10, 2019
That Marvin Sapp + R. Kelly controversy is TOUGH……….
I could get into it, but I need to be directed to a verse where pedophilia was accepted and used to God’s glory, because the man isn’t even resentful. #SurivingRKelly #IssaNo pic.twitter.com/RifiD1cVoR
— #BeyondTheBallot2020 (@CurlfriendNxtDr) January 6, 2019
Oh and all the gospel artist who worked with R Kelly are also canceled. You can't represent Jesus and support R Kelly, idc how great the song is or the size of the check…..y'all are hypocrites and sell outs. Marvin Sapp, Isaac Caree…. everybody.
— Olivia Gordon (@JD2021_) January 6, 2019
For Marvin, it seems as if the music is less about the artist and more about touching lives. Just last year, Teyana Taylor sampled one of his most popular songs on her KTSE album. He showered her with praise for using his song to touch lives that he might not have been able to. Check out this clip from Unsung where he talks about how his lyrics are used as a testimony:
TELL US: Are you canceling Marvin Sapp?