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If you’ve ever listened to any of Kirk Franklin’s albums that were released in 2002 or later, you know that he has an amazing testimony. The 43-year-old Texas native recently spoke about his troubled upbringing, being addicted to pornography and how being adopted set the stage for his path to promiscuity during an interview with Sway Calloway. Check out some of what he had to say below.

On his challenging upbringing:

“I was adopted by a 64-year-old lady and we were raised in really difficult times. You know, standing in line to get the block cheese, getting the tough jeans. I had a sister that had a real bad drug problem. [She] spent over a decade in prison— prostituion. So, we lived that life and it was a difficult life. I was 15 when my dude got killed and when he got killed is when I got closer to faith. That’s when I really just developed my own relationship with the Lord.”

On getting a woman pregnant at 15 and going to jail:

“At 15 I got a young lady pregnant, dropped out of school. For two years I was sleeping in a car. I kind of got into a little bit of trouble, I had to spend some nights locked down.”

“At 15 I paid for an abortion.”

On his pornography addiction: 

“There was incest in our family, as a kid. There was some abuse, I was a little boy. My little sister— there was some rape. There were some ugly images that we got introduced to as kids at about the age of 8. So from about the age of 8 to about 29, I struggled with that [pornography]. Not only pornography, but I was very promiscuous.”

On being adopted:

“I was trying to get that love I didn’t get from my mom. I still know my mom. I think it’s worse when a kid is adopted and they still know their parents, versus when a kid is adopted and they don’t know their biological [parents]. It’s almost like a sore that never heals. You’re always living with, ‘Why wasn’t I good enough for you?’ I would see my real mother every now and then. She would lie and say she was coming to get me and take me to the fair, take me to the carnival.”

“I’ll never forget, one day me and my sister got all dressed up because she said she was going to come get us. We sat on the corner of the street and counted every car that drove by. We were looking for her Monte Carlo. She never showed up. My sexual lifestyle as a young man was out of control because I was just trying to grab onto something.”

“[Right now] my real mother lives in the same city I live in and I never see her.”

On Kanye West naming his album Yeezus:

“I think that the microphone is a very powerful tool and you can use it to build people up or you can use it to kill people…So whatever thoughts I have about Kanye or same-sex marriage or anything else, I’ve chosen to be able to walk out life with people and I don’t think that the microphone should be used to make myself seem wise or so opinionated. I would rather have a walk through life relationship with somebody and they see the love of my life as we walk through life together than for me to spit a couple feelings and opinions and I dip out and it’s over.”

Check out part one of Kirk’s interview below. Flip the switch for part two.

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