The Game is no stranger to controversy. But this time the Compton, California-based rapper isn’t making headlines for beefing with former G-Unit mentor 50 Cent or backing up actress Stacey Dash who supported Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Game now finds himself responding to an onslaught of negative criticism following the release of the cover art for his upcoming album Jesus Piece.
The image shows Jesus Christ with a blinged-out necklace and a “Jesus piece” medallion hanging around his neck; a tattoo tear on his cheek; and wearing a red bandanna mask, which represents Game’s Blood gang affiliation.
On Twitter, the Game answered fans who took exception to the Jesus Piece imagery. In response to @jerPREE, who said the West Coast MC wins the award for “most ignant [ignorant] album cover,” the Game replied: “Well here’s my speech: First I’d like to thank God because without him I wouldn’t be here.”
While Jesus depicted as a gangbanger has rankled many, one tweeter questioned Game for depicting the Messiah as a black man.
“Why black Jesus?” the critic asked. The Game’s reply: “Why white Jesus?”
Mac Miller posted, “Game’s cover is tight as f—.” And comedian Kevin Hart tweeted, “LMFAO at The Game’s album cover, you’re the only person in the world that would make JESUS a thug in a picture lol!!!”
Game, who said he was recently Baptized, stands by his take on Jesus and Christianity.
“I got tattoos from my face to my legs,” he told CBS Local. ”I got five bullet wounds. But I’m a family man and I do believe in God and I do want to go to heaven. That’s my constant struggle. What I am trying to do with this album is show people, you can become as close to God as you want to be without changing who you are.” –Keith Murphy, CBS Local