Episode 15: Gold Digger

In the fifteenth episode of The Latest, we tithe 10% of our income to Kanye West. Recruiter Tom Powell joins the program for this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 15: Gold Digger


Kanye West teaming up with Pastor Joel Osteen for this week’s Sunday Service.

On the day that Kanye dropped his new gospel album, Lakewood Church confirms West has been invited to attend.

The church says Osteen and Kanye actually talk on the phone from time to time…

Those voices are discussing Kanye West’s friendship with Joel Osteen, the latest Yeezy collaboration that makes you pine for the days when he was hanging out with Coldplay.

It’s the another extension of Kanye’s foray into the world of Christianity, following the release of his new album, “Jesus is King,” and the public debut of his pop up church, Sunday Service. The gospel-driven event was initially an invite-only affair for celebrities, like Idris Elba and Brad Pitt, who were required to sign strict NDAs. Because, after all, there’s no better way to spread the world of god than through an ironclad, third-party non-disclosure agreement. 

Kanye and Joel Osteen actually have quite a bit in common. For one, they’re both successful college dropouts, each trading on Jesus’ name despite never having studied religion. 

But, more importantly, both men can be readily observed less like a church fable and more like a merch table. Osteen is believed to be worth over 56 million dollars, and like our generous president, eschews an annual salary in favor of small-time grifting. 

The televangelist’s website alone is littered with bookends, branded USB drives, and works of inspiration on DVD such as “It’s Already Yours,” which doesn’t live up to its title until you fork over ten bucks.

Mr. West is worth five times that of Mr. Osteen, drawing his income from footwear, concert tickets, and whoever forgot to cancel their Tidal subscription after “The Life of Pablo” came out. 

To extend the legacy, he’s also trademarked his own son, Psalm, for a potential line of baby products like cribs, changing tables, and breast pumps for evangelical infants who are born again a few minutes after they’re born the first time.

These men, without a doubt, are popular. When you can’t get into a Kanye concert, it’s because tickets are sold out; when you can’t get into Osteen’s church, it’s because tickets are sold out, or there’s a hurricane coming and they locked all the doors.

Now, I’m certainly not trashing them for having an audience — god knows I want one, please subscribe.

More importantly, moreso than ever, I think the world is desperate for encouragement, optimism, and community, and if you get that through a church or through a religion, I think that’s great.

But if you’re listening carefully to these divine men, through their free concerts, free sermons, and free livestreams, you’re likely to find they’re both delivering the same free message: we want your money.