Kanye West never does anything halfway.
He took over AT&T Park, home stadium of the San Francisco Giants, to propose to girlfriend Kim Kardashian in front of friends, family and, of course, E! cameras for a very special episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." He unveiled his Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October" sneakers earlier this month and, with no advertising beyond a single tweet, they sold out in 11 minutes.
So, of course, West's "Yeezus" tour was going to be larger than life. The set includes a mountain, where a yeti stalks West and, later in the show, White Jesus appears and convinces West to remove his mask. There's another part of the set that transforms into a second mountain, where West delivers "Coldest Winter" while it snows on him.
As West wraps up the North American leg of the brilliant but tumultuous "Yeezus" tour at Nassau Coliseum tonight, it seems like a good time to retrace the steps that Yeezus walked:
West introduces the world to his song "New Slaves" by projecting its video on 66 buildings around the world. The stark, anti-consumerism song, which also rails against life in the Hamptons, never really had a chance at radio airplay, but the global introduction certainly got the message across that "Yeezus" was coming.
May 18, 2013, Manhattan West's delivery of "New Slaves" and "Black Skinhead" on "Saturday Night Live" is more performance art piece than concert, as a blur of images flashes behind him.
June 9, 2013, Governors Island West closes down the final night of the Governors Ball festival with a fierce set that includes three more new songs from "Yeezus," including "I Am a God." Newsday contributor J. Edward Keyes writes of the set, "The ruthlessness of West's new music, his willingness to be abrasive and confrontational, will not sit comfortably in the Top 40; it is, rather, the stuff of art."
June 15, 2013, Los Angeles West's daughter, North, is born. West tells Ellen DeGeneres that the baby makes him "super-focused" and more determined to "establish the exact foundation I want for my family."
Aug. 25, 2013, Brooklyn
West performs "Blood on the Leaves" at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center. His passionate, energetic delivery is overshadowed by the media firestorm surrounding Miley Cyrus' twerking.
After Jimmy Kimmel spoofs West's BBC interview on his show, West goes on a rant against Kimmel, saying, "I don't take it as a joke. . . . You don't have [expletive] hopping over fences trying to take pictures of your daughter. You can't put yourself in my shoes."
West goes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to squash the beef. "People think it's OK to treat celebrities like zoo animals, acting like what they're saying is not serious or their life is not serious or their dreams are not serious," West tells Kimmel.
Oct. 19, 2013, Seattle The "Yeezus" tour kicks off at KeyArena with a well-received set. Rolling Stone's Corbin Reiff wrote: "West's energy level was extraordinary from the very beginning, with his manic gyrations causing the front end of the stage to rock violently up and down like a giant diving board."
Oct. 21, 2013, San Francisco West proposes to Kardashian at AT&T Park.
Oct. 26, 2013, Los Angeles West goes on a wide-ranging rant at his Staples Center show about the media and the fashion world, as part of "Runaway." "They want to lynch him in front of the crowd," he says through AutoTune. "They will try to attack the slave that's the most proud. . . . We will never ever let them hold us down."
One of the tour's trucks crashes, damaging the tour's 60-feet circular video screen. The tour is put on hold while the screen is replaced, canceling six shows and rescheduling three more.
Nov. 16, 2013, Philadelphia
The "Yeezus" tour resumes.
Dec. 23, 2013, Toronto
In an epic ad-lib that stretched for nearly half an hour, West declares, "There's two types of people in the world -- dreamers and haters. . . . Haters gave up on their dream." He also talks about Beyonce's album being an "early Christmas present" and complains about "Yeezus" getting only two Grammy nominations. He then turns apologetic, thanking the Grammys for his 21 wins, adding, "This is the last time you'll ever hear me say anything negative about anyone because you only get the energy that you put out into the world."
Dec. 27, 2013, North America The "Yeezus" tour is the second-biggest of the year, behind only Paul McCartney's "Out There!" tour, grossing $25.2 million, according to Billboard.
Feb. 13, 2014, University Park, Pa. At his concert at the Bryce Jordan Center, West calls out some DJs who have questioned him, telling them to, um, shut up. "What have you done with the last 10 years of your [expletive] life, Charlemagne? Sway?" Later, he explains the idea behind "Yeezus," saying, "It's y'all that give this the power. The whole idea behind Yeezus is 'Yeez . . . is . . . us.' It's so when y'all that be in situations when people be trying to hold y'all back, suppress y'all's ideas, talk [expletive] when you're at work, whatever . . . and you just can't say nothing. So I just took 2013 to try and say everything that couldn't nobody say."
When Kanye West talks about how he'll be running his own version of the Walt Disney Co. a decade from now, he may not be that far off. His business interests span far beyond music. Here's a look at the growing West empire:
FASHION. He has already tried his hand with a womenswear line of his own in 2012 and a collaboration with A.P.C. on a women's line last year. This year, he has expanded his work with A.P.C. to include menswear.
MOVIES. West debuted his short film "Cruel Summer," starring Kid Cudi and Aziz Ansari, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
AMUSEMENT PARKS. He hopes to expand into bigger experiences than his tours. "I want to work on amusement parks, I want to change entertainment experiences or life," he told GQ. "Something like if McQueen or Tarsem [Singh] was to meet the entertainment value of a Cirque du Soleil or a Walt Disney."