Kanye West Explains How He Came To Support President Trump
Pop superstar and business mogul Kanye West made his way back to the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” stage on Thursday, and he did not hide from questions about his support for President Donald Trump.
Kimmel started right in on West about his support for the president, which was seen as controversial by many in the African-American community, and about his wife, Kim Kardashian West’s work with the president to free Alice Johnson, a black woman serving a life sentence for a first offense of drug dealing.
“Were you ever concerned about her being alone in the Oval Office with President Trump?” the host asked.
“Well, he’s a player,” West quipped, a reference to President Trump’s noted history as a lady’s man.
Kimmel asked West about the job the president is doing and about his support for him.
“Just as a musician, African-American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things — you know, 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,” the rapper said. “I’d get kicked out of the black community because blacks, we are supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats and all.”
But he was aware that there would be backlash and it took him time to have the confidence to tell the world that he supports the president.
“It represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone said,” he said. “Liberals can’t bully me; news can’t bully me; the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me. 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 one question was too tough for West to answer.
“I mean, you’ve so famously and so powerfully said George (W.) Bush doesn’t care about black people. It makes me wonder, what makes you think that Donald Trump does … or any people at all?” Kimmel asked.
West looked into the distance pondering the question as the show cut to commercial. When the show came back, the rap star discussed mental health issues in the black community.
“I think it’s important to have open conversations about mental health — especially with me being black. Because we never had therapists in the black community. We never approached taking medication,” West told the host.