Gospel recording artist Kirk Franklin took to his Instagram account early Sunday morning to address concerns about his collaboration with rapper Kanye West.
Shortly after a performance of “Ultra Light Beam” on the “Saturday Night Live” stage that featured Kelly Price, Anthony Evans, Jr., Farnsworth Bentley, Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and others, Kirk Franklin notified his Twitter followers to head to his Instagram account for a comment on his relationship with West.
Franklin’s comments come weeks after a photo was posted online of the gospel artist with West and other rappers in a studio.
“Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with,” Franklin wrote online after his “SNL” performance. “No sprints, but Marathons; like most of us are on.”
Franklin went on to address the controversy and criticism leveled his way after his collaboration with West became public news.
“Before one song was released, I was crucified because my brother asked me to take a picture. Again ‘no Kanye, you’re not good enough’? No. That is a dangerous message I believe we send to the world when our posture is they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring. It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace. That my friend is religious.
“I will not turn my back on my brother. I will love him, prayerfully grow with him. However long he’ll have me, and however long the race takes. To a lot of my Christian family, I’m sorry he’s not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace…and as I read some of your comments, neither am I. That won’t stop me from running. Pray we win,” Franklin added.
To get an idea of the kind of criticism Franklin (and West) faced over the social media studio photos, here is how one Christian news site covered the story:
He shared the same message on his Facebook page, where early responses to Franklin’s statement seemed positive.
Watch the “Ultra Light Beam” performance at NBC.com