Kirk Franklin is one of the most iconic gospel artists of all time.
One of the biggest selling Gospel artist in sound scan history, Franklin has sold over 10 million albums and was the first Gospel Artist to have a music video on MTV.
A sixteen-time Grammy Award Winner, Franklin bridged the gap between Gospel, R&B and Hip-Hop while staying true to the foundational message of his Christian faith.
He and “The Family”, a seventeen-voice choir, released their Kirk Franklin & The Family album, the first gospel music album to sell over a million units. Since then Franklin has dropped hits with other groups like God’s Property and One Nation Crew.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin will be part of a lineup of 20 chart-topping artists who are performing in the biggest 14th Annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tour is virtual for the first time in its history and broadcasts on BET’s YouTube channel. With two of the four virtual stops completed, the 4-part concert series has been viewed nearly 150,000 times and counting.
This year’s tour is themed “Gospel City Playlists” and celebrates the rich musicality and artistry of U.S. cities well known for their gospel roots: Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Dallas. More info can be found here.
Representing Dallas, Franklin will close out the virtual tour tomorrow and will share the stage with fellow gospel singers Fred Hammond, Myron Butler and Marvin Sapp.
While appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show ahead of his appearance on the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, Franklin and I discussed the state of Gospel music, faith and Kanye West’s Sunday Service.
Check out snippets from our dialogue below:
Kirk Franklin’s thoughts on Kanye West and Sunday Service:
“Yeah. You know, I have been honored to have moments where I’ve been blessed to do live with Kanye and I think that Sunday Service and his engagement has been very therapeutic for him. I think it’s been a very powerful moment in his life and I think that’s what gospel music is for anybody; you know? I think everybody should find themselves a Sunday Service. As I was a part of the Sunday Service when Kobe died when I was in L.A. and they asked me to come out. And so yes, I was a part of that one but yeah… I think anytime a commutative people get together and wants to talk about the bigness and the greatness of God, that’s dope.”
Kirk Franklin’s thoughts on Kanye West’s place among the greats:
“He’s a PHENOMENAL talent. Him; Pharrell… I think Timbaland is a great talent; I think there has been some phenomenal talent. I think Jay is a great talent, Lauryn Hill is a great talent, Wyclef [Jean] is a great talent; I mean but, Michael [Jackson] and Prince are great talents. Max Martin is a talented producer… I mean, I think there’s some really, really great talented people that are in this medium and they ALL should be celebrated. I think that music is a very powerful medium and that the microphone can be weaponized or it can be a healing balm.”
Kirk Franklin weighs in on albums he wished he could’ve done over again or beats that he would have loved to have gotten his hands on:
“That I could’ve done over? I don’t [know of] albums that I could’ve done over. But, I wish that God would’ve been nice enough to let me have Jesus Walks [by Kanye West]. I think that’s a bangin’ song and I think that’s a smash! So you know, that’s a joint; I wished that maybe I originally had the track – the All About the Benjamins [by Puff Daddy and the Family feat. the Notorious BIG] track. I would’ve taken that track and did something with that like, revolutionary. Or Q-Tip’s Vivrant Thing track, you know? So you know, there are tracks that you hear while you’re on your journey and you’re like… but outside of that matter, I’m grateful for what God has let me borrow.”