Another Sunday has passed which means another installment of Kanye West’s weekly church service. Launched at the top of the year, it’s become the most prestigious, highly-coveted invitation among the greater music community in Los Angeles — an event that only the select and handpicked worshipers get to experience.
So what’s the service like? Think: next level and beyond. West has the ability to transform a choir into a moving live orchestra, leaving outsiders to muse about the mysterious prayer circle from afar.
With that in mind, Variety spoke to multiple attendees of recent services to learn more about the most lit church service of our time.
1. It’s a spiritual version of Kanye’s songs. According to attendees, West’s reinterpretation of his own music is meant to take on a spiritual essence — particularly songs like “Jesus Walks,” “Lift Off” and “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1,” all of which have been performed and described as “an expression of love.”
2. The location changes week to week. Locations have included a secret space in Burbank, West’s home studio in Calabasas and the surrounding hills and forests of Los Angeles. One service took place at the Adidas headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Perhaps West is trying to impress for the Creative Director position he recently revealed he had been pitching for?
3. There’s a pre-service to the actual service. Sources tell us that there’s a pre-service to the actual service, which is just a brunch and some band members are utilized for one and not the other.
4. Everyone must sign a non-disclosure agreement. Attendees are forbidden from talking to the press, which is meant to heighten the sense of exclusivity. But clearly, Instagram is allowed.
5. West spares no expense. A musician posted a video to his Instagram of West singing with the entire choir on an airplane — a flight the rapper-producer purportedly sprang for.
6. Kindness on tap. This isn’t a Hollywood club where you get a stare down from the list holder; Everyone that comes is invited personally and treated with kindness by security and staff — just like any church service.
7. Kim Kardashian-West serves as unofficial videographer. With West leading the musical portion of the service, his wife is capturing content for Twitter and Instagram.
8. All-star congregation: From Gospel singers like Fred Hammond to music producers Frank Dukes and Rick Rubin, the Sunday guest list features major names from the music world, including: Diplo, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Francis & The Lights, Stevie Mackey, Benny Blanco, Fonzworth Bentley, Lil Dicky, Kid Cudi, Verdine White from Earth, Wind and Fire, David Letterman and DMX, among others.