Kanye West kicked off his highly-anticipated Yeezus tour this past weekend in Seattle Washington, and there had been much speculation about surprise guests who were expected to be in the building. And wouldn’t you know it — Jesus Christ himself (sort of) was one of them. Kanye brought out a man portraying Jesus and, strange as it may sound, it wasn’t especially shocking. For one, the Yeezus album itself has a track featuring “God” (I Am A God), and while Kanye is always interesting it has to be said that he’s losing some of his original shock value. We have to ask — is the whole semi-blasphemous art movement that Kanye seems to be kicking off getting a little played out?
The short answer is ‘no.’ Kanye explained his decision to bring out “Jesus” on his tour in an interview, and he made some interesting points about the image of Christ in Christianity, and even discussed its racial implications. Fans of his music remember early singles like Jesus Walks, and the countless other songs where Kanye has attempted to draw or illuminate connections to religion and spirituality through rap. It’s almost always interesting, and it really doesn’t get old.
That being said, the newly-engaged rapper may need to tread carefully; it’s not because he’s talking about religion, and it’s not because his words and actions may seem offensive. Kanye has to make sure he doesn’t become a caricature of himself. We’ve seen it happen with artists like Lady Gaga, where so much over-the-top-ness makes everything they do seem a little less intriguing. The shock value wears off after a while and even though it’s cool to hear Kanye explain himself, sometimes we do wish he could just keep mum and let the art speak for itself.