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T.I. says he felt ‘exploited’ by New Birth during Kanye’s service (video)

Jamal Bryant marches in support of Trayvon Martin on March 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012, he was 17. (Photo credit: Ira Bostic /

T.I. angrily articulated that he felt “accosted and basically exploited” by New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s repeated calls for money during Kanye West’s Sunday service there recently.

Clifford “Tip” Harris Jr., 38, was speaking on his “ExpediTIously” podcast with fellow rapper and activist Killer Mike about the subject.

The pastor of the megachurch, Jamal Bryant, 48, is being denounced by T.I. for using the surprise appearance of Kanye, 42, as an opportunity for a “money grab.”

“Finessed out some money,” said Killer Mike, 44, while laughing during the “ExpediTIously” podcast.

“Jamal [had] already raised the offering,” said T.I. began. “When we sat down there was a whole new agenda. It was like they rung the red bell at the Player’s Club.”

Tip added that he and his wife, Tamika Harris, 44, only attended the service as a show of support for his friend Kanye. But, the King of the South rapper claims he was targeted to give money which has him feeling some kind of way.

“It’s not that I have [anything] against pastors or against preachers so-to-speak,” T.I. explained. “It’s just I’ve been raised in the trenches, and I was taught to peep game. You ain’t finna run no game on me. I will not be extorted.”

When Bryant learned how Tip felt about the situation, the New Birth pastor responded with a lengthy post underneath Tip’s podcast.

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To my comrades @troubleman31 & @killermike let me first say I appreciate your unwavering commitment to the empowerment of this generation. We have echoed the same sentiments on many issues down through the years and was energized by the partnership. I was awakened to your clip this morning and felt compelled to lend context. To have both of you in church was meaningful for many reasons. This is the largest demographic of blacks who don’t buy into organized religion in our history and in large measure because of reasons you have illuminated. To not give redress would be an assault to the body of Christ when I believe I am an ambassador as the two of you are for your field. I don’t want Sunday to be used as further ammunition as to why people don’t go to church without them knowing at this same church we gave 5000 pairs of new back to school shoes to kids of #Atlanta, or that we spearheaded 9 million campaign to support @bennett_college , or that we bailed out nonviolent offenders or that we partnered with @delta to send 4 cargo to #Bahamas for hurricane release or that we’ve partnered with @_hamptonu to place 95 displaced students or that we fed the furloughed workers for two weeks while the government was shut down or that we went into housing projects to feed kids of #dekalb county during spring break. For none of these projects were you solicited for a donation.The reality is when I came to @newbirthmbc 9 months ago I was met with a 30 million dollar debt that must be paid so that we can be free to do real community development like affordable housing ,entrepreneur work space and medical clinics. I’ve been teaching on self help which are values you both promote. @bishophilliard was invited months ago with no knowledge #kanyewest was coming or either of you. So there was NO money grab intention but part of an internal strategy to mobilize our church community to move towards economic independence. As black men I hope we can come together “expeditiously” to find common ground to build. I want to invite both of you to come and give church another chance. I promise you I’m more interested in your life than your life savings! #runthejewels #bigthingspoppin

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