Kanye West brought a new friend along on his latest tour: Jesus Christ.
On Saturday night’s opening stop for the “Yeezus” tour in Seattle, West brought out a man in a Jesus costume and bowed to him before launching into a rendition of his 2004 hit “Jesus Walks.” The stunt has had the Internet abuzz since clips surfaced online Sunday, and now he has spoken out about exactly why he included a fake Jesus on his latest tour.
Speaking to the Bay Area’s Wild 94.9 radio station, West explained that bringing Jesus on stage wasn’t designed to mock Christianity at all. He said that before including Jesus in the “Yeezus” tour, he actually sat down with a pastor and got his blessing before including Jesus in the show.
"I had a friend of mine that's a pastor there as we started discussing how we wanted to deliver it," he said. "My girl [Kim Kardashian] even asked afterwards, 'Is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?' They're like, 'No. We do plays all the time. People play Jesus. You know what's awesome about Christianity? We're allowed to portray God. We're allowed to draw an 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 really awesome things.'"
West also says that bringing the mock Jesus onstage was meant to be a positive message of faith for his fans.
"One of the things I wanted to get across with that message," he said, "is that you can have a relationship with Jesus, that you can talk to Jesus. … In the same way as someone can have 'Jesus is my homeboy,' that is the way I would express it. In the way I create it is that you can have a relationship with Jesus. You can talk to him."
Watch Kanye West’s interview with Wild 94.9 below, as well as a video of him performing “Jesus Walks” on his “Yeezus” tour.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.