Kanye Is ‘Free Thought’-ing Again, Posts Text Messages From John Legend

Illustration for article titled Kanye Is ‘Free Thought’-ing Again, Posts Text Messages From John Legend
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3)

The inconceivably long train wreck that is Kanye West’s Twitter account just hit a new level of messiness Thursday afternoon, when Yeezy shared a screenshot of an exchange between himself and longtime friend and collaborator John Legend.


In the screenshot of the text exchange, Legend sent a check-in text to Kanye at about 9:16 a.m. Thursday. In the text, Legend attempts to talk some sense into Ye after the rapper broke the internet with this “MAGA”-Donald Trump lovefest on Wednesday afternoon, reminding Kanye of the importance of his platform and the effect that aligning with Trump would have on his friends and fans.

“So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now becaues they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color. Don’t let this be part of your legacy,” Legend pleaded.

In response, Kanye wrote: “I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”

It’s unclear if the conversation went on longer than that, but Ye clearly felt it appropriate to then share the exchange with the world.

About a half hour later, Kanye offered some clarification on why he decided to post the exchange (it’s also unclear on whether he gave Legend a heads-up before posting either tweet).


“I tweeted the John text to show that there are people around me that disagree with me and voice their opinion,” West wrote, perhaps alluding to allegations that he’s surrounded himself with “yes men.”


“I respect everyone’s opinion but I stand my ground,” he wrote.

Interestingly, minutes before Kanye posted his explanation, Legend’s wife, the undefeated Chrissy Teigen, also weighed in on Kanye for the first time since the whole “Make America Great Again” debacle.


“Everyone keeps asking me to comment on shit. Comment on psycho Tami Lasagna, whom I refuse to give the joy to, say something about RHOA, speak about Kanye. When it comes to people we know, we DO speak up. To THEM. Not on Twitter. And sometimes, I guess it makes it to Twitter,” Teigen wrote.


So there we have it. Yes, people have tried to talk to Kanye about the ramifications of his actions. And while he says he loves them and respects them, he prefers not to really listen to them, opting to “stand [his] ground” in the name of his free—if convoluted, nonsensical and, frankly, rather dull—thoughts.

Perhaps, if he read, Kanye would know the deeper implications of a phrase like “stand my ground”—but that would mean Kanye’s free thoughts involved actual thinking.


For what it’s worth, Yeezy also dropped this free-thought gem earlier: “People usually don’t agree with people who don’t agree with them.”


I suppose this is the new wave: Next time you want attention for a controversial and provocative opinion but don’t care for any scrutiny of or responsibility for the effects of said opinion (a line I’m paraphrasing from T.D. Williams’ incisive article on Kanye West), just call it a free thought.

In case there was any doubt it was all love—or whatever game is being played here—Legend also had a friendly request for Ye, since the latter was in a sharing mood.


“And since you’re posting texts, let me add that I have new single out,” Legend plugged—which Kanye happily obliged.

Staff writer, The Root.



All in all I think, Kanye will always be a cautionary tale of what happens when you seek approval from whiteness.