I can’t pretend I’ve ever understood the appeal of Macklemore, but the rapper’s latest attempt at pop spectacle has me more befuddled than ever.

For a surprise set celebrating a new exhibit at Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum on Friday night, he opted to perform dressed as some kind of Jewish caricature, prosthetic schnozz included.

Seattle Weekly guessed that the Semitic “disguise” was meant to keep Macklemore from “being mobbed,” though given that his makeup had begun to melt by the end of his 15 minutes on stage, we rather doubt it. At any rate, he chose the look for himself:

Macklemore’s relationship with Judaism is an enduringly odd one: While some self-appointed experts claim he’s one of god’s Chosen people, the man himself denies such ancestry (while continuing, for some reason, to appropriate its signifiers).

You can check out a full gallery of close-up concert photos from KOMO News over here. Just don’t expect them to reveal why this happened, or whether anyone in attendance was significantly offended. Could it be that no one in a city famed for its political correctness wanted to bother with backlash? If so, this weirdo is far more powerful than we feared.   

Update: Since this story began getting traction, Macklemore has pleaded naïveté and suffered a third-degree burn courtesy of Seth Rogen. The best possible outcome, surely.

Photo by The Come Up Show/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)