Kanye West ventured out of the studio on Thursday night to make an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The rapper, producer and fashion designer was his usual confident, outspoken self, answering Kimmel’s questions.
And neither Kimmel nor Ye seemed to shy away from the questions about Dark Lord Trumplestiltskin, with Kanye adamantly declaring that neither “liberals” nor any other of the communities he belongs to can bully him into not voicing his support for the current president.
“Just as a musician, African-American guy out in Hollywood—all these different things—everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me and then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over, I’d get kicked out [of] the black community, because blacks, we’re supposed to have a monolithic thought. We can only be Democrats,” he told Kimmel.
The artist acknowledged that it took him “a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the [MAGA] hat” because he “didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and possible backlash.”
But then you know, Ye being Ye, he actually likes it when people are mad at his actions so he took the leap.
“It’s not about policies ’cause I’m not a politician like that, but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anyone said and saying you can’t bully me, liberals can’t bully me, news can’t bully me, the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me,” he said. “Because at that point, if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer Ye. That’s what makes Ye. And I actually quite enjoy when people actually are mad at me about certain things.”
But West did seem to lose some of that energy when Trump was brought up again.
“We’re always pushing out so much hate and love can cure so much. Just to think am I moving in love, out of love ...” Kanye said. “... When I see people just even like go at the president it’s just like why not try love?
“We can defuse this nuclear bomb of hate that we’re in as a society by thinking of everyone as our family,” he added.
That’s when Kimmel shook the table, spilling a gallon of scalding hot tea.
“I think that’s a beautiful thought but just in literal terms there are families being torn apart at the border of this country ... as a result of what this president is doing, and I think that we cannot forget that whether we like his personality or not, his actions are really what matter,” Kimmel said, going straight for the jugular. “You’ve so famously and so powerfully said ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’ it makes me wonder what makes you think that Donald Trump does, or any people at all?”
Shook-ye was shooken because despite all of his insistent defense of the president he has to know that Trump doesn’t give a flying fuck about black people, or anyone who isn’t named Donald Trump (this completely excludes Donny Jr., arguably Trump’s least favorite child after Tiffany).
The artist, who had been speaking freely up until this point paused, taking a deep inhale, his gaze high, his eyes wandering.
After a few more seconds of silence, Kimmel continues, “Why don’t we take a break, we’ll come back,” as the audience nervously titters and Kanye breaks into a smile.
Once they returned, the question wasn’t addressed again, with the conversation switching to Kanye’s album, his family and his struggles with mental illness.
I’m more than a little sad that Kimmel didn’t double down on his question, just because I’d love to see how Ye would have untied himself from that one ... because there’s really only one answer, regardless of how not-monolithic you think black people are.
Watch the Donald Trump exchange below: