Hip-Hop artist S.O. anticipated some backlash for his latest single, “White Jesus,” that debunks the belief that Jesus was white. The controversial song and video is the second single from S.O.’s Augustine’s Legacy album being released on Lamp Mode Recordings on September 6 and now available for pre-order.
S.O. makes a number of bold declarations in the song. He raps, “White Jesus killed my people and enslaved us,” “that white Jesus that you worship is a racist,” “Christ was not a hippie picking lilies in the field. As the opening to the second verse, he adds, “Do you know how hard it would be to find a white dude walking around the streets of Galilee in the 1st century? It’s like Bigfoot riding a unicorn on top of a rainbow.”
A number of factors inspired the song produced by GP. “White Jesus was used in some instances to reinforce the power of slave owners and colonial masters,” S.O. says. “This is not just a harmless image but an image that has deep roots in racism and a ‘white is right’ or ‘white is best’ or even worse ‘white is GOD’ mentality.” Given the current social/racial climate, S.O. argues that “White Jesus” is his most important song to date.
The music video opens with a young African American boy asking Mr. S.O. why Jesus was white, prompting the Nigeria-born, UK-raised artist to explain in song. The video includes polarizing visuals of S.O. rapping in a church, a preacher conspicuously posing with a young boy, video of a burning cross and the Ku Klux Klan. “The music video is simply bringing what I am rapping about to life so that the audience can visually see what I am talking about,” he says. “It is one thing to say ‘That white Jesus that you worship is a racist,’ but then when you see someone in a KKK sheet and a burning cross, it makes more sense.”
“White Jesus” follows Augustine’s Legacy’s debut single “Goals,” a song that addresses pressures associated with social media consumption. The 12-song project is named after and pays homage to his late father Augustine Otukpe.