In light of his stadium-sized engagement to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West’s decision to have a man dressed as Jesus co-star on his Yeezus tour seems kind of tame by comparison.
But the emergence of the surprise co-star at Saturday night’s opening show definitely turned heads. “White Jesus, is that you?” ‘Ye asked the actor, who took the stage just before the rapper broke into his 2004 single “Jesus Walks.” Fans were likely asking the same question.
While chatting with San Francisco’s Wild 94.9’s The JV Show after popping the question to Kardashian, Kanye explained why he put a holy cameo into his set.
“I had a friend of mine who’s a pastor there as we started discussing how we want to deliver it,” West said of the Jesus (set) piece. “My girl even asked afterwards, ‘Hmm, is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?’ No, we do plays all the time. People play Jesus. You know what’s awesome about Christianity is we’re allowed to portray God? We’re allowed to draw image of him, we’re allowed to make movies about him. Other religions you’re not allowed to do that. That’s what’s really awesome about Christianity. That’s one of the awesome things.”
Defending Kanye, co-host Rico noted that other pop artists have depicted Jesus in the past, including Madonna (not to mention Michelangelo, ‘Ye added), so people shouldn’t call the Chicago MC the “anti-Christ” for including the Jesus character in his show. “It’s a painting, it’s a sculpture, it’s a moving opera, it’s a play, it’s a message ,” Kanye added. “God knows where my heart is at.”
One of the other things West said he wanted to get across with the Jesus skit was that, “You can have a relationship with Jesus. That you can talk to Jesus. And this was my literal … in the same how someone will have a ‘Jesus is my homeboy,’ that is the way I would express it and the way I create.”