When you give a hip-hop artist a stage, what should you expect? Generally, you'll have an artist or 10
prancing about with a chance of pyrotechnics highlighted by a few kicks and thrills. But for the most part hip-hop concerts usually demonstrate a rather basic stage presentation.
So, what happens when you give Kanye West a stage? Well you can keep the artist, the pyrotechnics, and certainly the kicks and thrills, then add a large mountain, a dozen cult-like women dressed in nude body suits (might I add they're a bit creepy), a couple of goons and goblins and let's not forget the appearance of Jesus himself. Honestly, who better to bring out Jesus than the man who calls himself "Yeezus", right?
While it sounds like a lot, the stage set and act was fairly simple. Kanye uses his hip-hop platform to create a theatrical tale and he does it quite brilliantly. The misunderstood man, who has always been outspoken, really created a buzz after releasing his latest studio album Yeezus with a title that definitely doesn't shy away from controversy and extreme media attention. He has also been a bit more vocal in 2013 than he has been for a while. With his recent engagement and new daughter North West, Kanye has been on somewhat of a media tour lately bouncing around from TV to radio shows speaking his mind in monologue like rants, while also promoting his album and The Yeezus Tour.
On stage at The New Orleans Arena, Kanye demonstrates himself as more of a creative artist than a hip-hop star. He begins the show as "Yeezus." Yeezus is something of a God like character who is worshiped by his fans. He performs in a variety of masks, from a bedazzled black knit to one that is entirely filled with sparkling gems. The cult-like girls who accompany him on stage do not take away from the fact that this performance is a one-man show, a hip-hop musical that begins with Kanye's latest album and progressively reverts into his first album The College Dropout. During this part of the show, Kanye unmasks himself as if he is released from his "Yeezus" title and is now in somewhat of a normal space.
Kanye West ends his elaborate theatrical performance with the song "Bound 2" which is an ode to his current fiancé Kim Kardashian who also sat in the audience along with other celebrities including Beyonce's younger sister Solange Knowles.
Prefacing Kanye's performance was new comer Kendrick Lamar who has already proved himself as one of the greatest rappers of his generation. Not to be outdone, Kanye West has set a standard for hip-hop performances. The Yeezus Tour has proven to be more than a concert; it was a one man theatrical production.