Kanye West Addressed His Past Struggle With Alcoholism At His Spiritual Festival, Awaken 2020

Kanye West’s pivot to Christianity has some confused and others inspired. It seems as though the rapper has undergone a complete 180 in his life. He quit swearing, asked his Jesus Is King collaborators to abstain from premarital sex, and he plans on touring the country with megachurch pastors. But Kanye recently shed some light on his Christian-aligned life choices. At his religious festival Awaken 2020 in Arizona, he told the crowd his life used to be plagued by his addiction to alcohol.

On stage backed by a gospel choir, Kanye addressed his past struggle with alcoholism, even hinting at the infamous Taylor Swift VMAs scandal in 2009.

“I never thought about the effect alcohol could have had on my life,” he said. “I was drinking on the red carpet and then running on stage a few minutes later. And everyone around said, ‘Nah, he ain’t really no alcoholic.’ And then you get to the point where you’re drinking Grey Goose and orange juice for breakfast, thinking, ‘Nah, I ain’t really no alcoholic.'”

But Kanye eventually came to terms with his addiction, explaining to the crowd the moment he decided to quit for good. “There was some vodka in the refrigerator at my office, and sometimes I would just go ahead and take a drink from it in the middle of the day, and I was walking toward that kitchenette area, and I stopped myself and I said, ‘Devil you’re not gonna finna beat me today,'” he recalled. “And it’s something that we take on, day by day. Every day that I don’t pick up that drink, I beat the devil.”

Watch fan-captured footage of Kanye addressing the crowd above.

Read Uproxx’s review of Kanye’s Jesus Is King here.