October 23, 2013 13:09

Kanye West explains use of 'White Jesus' on 'Yeezus' tour dates

Rapper brought out Jesus impersonator during live show in Seattle on Saturday (October 19)

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Kanye West has explained his reasons behind bringing a Jesus impersonator onstage during his current 'Yeezus' tour dates in America.

As reported, West's first solo tour in five years kicked off in Seattle on Saturday night (October 19). The rapper delivered a career-spanning two-hour set. The stage at the 17,500-capacity Key Arena was partly covered by a giant mountain from which he performed.

Above the mountain was a large video screen projecting complicated visuals including animations of Kanye. At one point, he was joined onstage by a Jesus Christ lookalike and for several tracks he was accompanied by a troupe of backing dancers.

Speaking to San Francisco radio station Wild 94.9, West defended the move but admitted that fiancee Kim Kardashian had questioned him on whether it was acceptable or not. "My girl even asked afterwards, 'Is that weird that Jesus comes onstage?'," he revealed, adding that he replied: "We do plays all the time where people play Jesus."

Stating that Christianity is more liberal with depictions of its icons than other religions, West continued: "What's awesome about Christianity is that we're able to portray God. We're allowed to draw an image of him. We're allowed to make movies about him. In other religions, you're not allowed to do that. One of the things that I wanted to really get across with that, is that you can have a relationship with Jesus, you can talk to Jesus. In the same way someone would have a 'Jesus is my homeboy' [T-shirt], this is the way I would express it."

"Any time the word Jesus can be used more in our lives, it's a good thing. Even it's the title 'Yeezus'." he adds. "With my heroes, people want to be like Mike, I want to be like Christ." West also tackles the fact that the Christ figure in his live show is billed as 'White Jesus'. "It's funny because you hear the term 'Black Jesus' all the time, but you never hear the term 'White Jesus'," he explained, and later joked, "You know it's just some Kanye West shit, really."

'The Yeezus Tour' was scheduled to continue on October 20 in Vancouver but that date was postponed. The tour started again last night (October 23) at the San Jose SAP Center and run until December 7, taking in shows across North America.

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