Kanye West opens up about Trump, slavery comments and his bipolar disorder

Kanye West opened up about his recent slavery comments, President Trump, mental health, his new music and more in a long interview with The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica published Monday morning. The interview, which was conducted in the days around West’s extravagant album-release party in Wyoming late last month, found West expressing many of the same viewpoints as in his controversial recent interviews but in a calmer context; Caramanica describes him as “calm, measured, verging on beatific, and also self-aware and willing to reckon with the challenges he’d created for himself.”

While West says he’s been learning to cope with his recently diagnosed bipolar disorder — he speaks of “learning how to not be on meds” and adds, “I took one pill in the last seven days” — at one point during the interview he stops at a Wyoming clothing and purchases a “mountain” of winter clothing that fills 13 trash bags (excessive spending is a common symptom of bipolar disorder).

Regarding his affection for the president, West speaks of a sort of underground network of support within the celebrity community.

“There were people who said Trump would never win,” he said. “I’m talking about the it-will-never-happens of the world, people in high school told you things would never happen. I felt that I knew people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they liked him. But they told me, and I liked him, and I’m not scared to say what I like.”

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West through the years
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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West through the years
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 25: Music recording artist Kanye West, left, and socialite Kim Kardashian attend the grand opening of Intermix on September 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Kanye West Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2012 show as part of Paris Fashion Week at Halle Freyssinet on March 6, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 21: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian shop in Soho on April 21, 2012 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12: Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West talk from their courtside seats before the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on May 18, 2012 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TOE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 23: (L-R) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the 'Cruel Summer' Premiere during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palm Beach on May 23, 2012 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: (L-R) Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian attend the 2012 BET Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on July 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are sighted leaving at Prime 112 Steakhouse on October 14, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 22: Kayne West and Kim Kardashian attend the Angel Ball 2012 hosted by Gabrielle's Angel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on October 22, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 31: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at Kim Kardashian's Halloween party at LIV nightclub at Fontainebleau Miami on October 31, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Nuggets 112-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 31: (Exclusive Coverage) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian celebrate New Years Eve countdown at 1OAK Nightclub at the Mirage on December 31, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 03: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013 Ready-to-Wear show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 3, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/GettyImages)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are seen in Soho on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on the 'Avenue Montaigne' on September 28, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)
US musician Kanye West and partner Kim Kardashian pose prior to Givenchy 2014 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show, on September 29, 2013 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE ANDRIEU (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 24: Recording artist Kanye West and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend Dream for Future Africa Foundation Inaugural Gala honoring Franca Sozzani of VOGUE Italia at Spago on October 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 25: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian celebrate Kim Kardashian's 33rd birthday at Tao Las Vegas on October 25, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Kayne West, North West and Kim Kardashian seen on the streets of Manhattan on November 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Kim Kardashian and Kayne West are seen in Soho on November 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 04: Kanye West (L) and Kim Kardashian attend DuJour Magazine's event to honor artist Marc Quinn at Delano South Beach Club on December 4, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for DuJour Magazine)
PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on January 19, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 22: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on February 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Kim Kardashian (L) and Kanye West attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 19: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen strolling on the 'Avenue Montaigne' on May 19, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Kim Kardashian (L) and Kanye West attend the GQ Men Of The Year awards in association with Hugo Boss at The Royal Opera House on September 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 24: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and their daughter North West attend the Balenciaga show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 24, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 25: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Lanvin show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 25, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff/Dufour/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kanye West (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend Teyana Taylor's VII listening event presented by Def Jam, GOOD Music and MVD Inc at Siren Studios on October 20, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Recording artist Kanye West (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend the 2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Barbara Kruger and Quentin Tarantino presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for LACMA)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend John Legend Celebrates His Birthday And The 10th Anniversary Of His Debut Album 'Get Lifted' at CATCH NYC on January 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for EMM Group)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the Roc Nation Grammy Brunch 2015 on February 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Rapper Kanye West (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kim Kardashian, North West and Kanye West leave a fashion show on February 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 26: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at Mr Chows restaurant on February 26, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 05: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 5, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West are seen at church for Easter in Los Angeles on April 05, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Kanye West (L) and Kim Kardashian attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Kanye West (L) and Kim Kardashian attend the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: TV personality Kim Kardashian and recording artist Kanye West arrive at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and North West are seen at LAX. on September 05, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian arrive to Bergdorf Goodman on September 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West are seen arriving at the Givenchy fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West are seen on the Upper East Side during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Recording artist Kanye West (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Show and Tea at Chateau Marmont on October 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for CFDA/Vogue)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 20: Tv personality Kim Kardashian (L) and recording artist Kanye West attend the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner at Bouchon Beverly Hills on October 20, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for CFDA/Vogue)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend The Daily Front Row Fashion Los Angeles Awards Private Dinner Hosted By Eva Chow And Carine Roitfeld at Mr Chow on March 20, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Daily Front Row)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Kanye West (L) and Kim Kardashian are seen in Midtown on May 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Kim Kardashian West (L) and Kanye West attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seen at LAX on May 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by MPI99/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West arrive for the Gala to celebrate the Vogue 100 Festival at Kensington Gardens on May 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Kim Kardashian (L) and Kanye West attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Cassie celebrate their 2016 MTV Video Music Awards After Party at Pasquale Jones on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West with North West and Saint West are spotted in the Upper East Side on August 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian step out for a dinner date at Zuma restaurant on August 29, 2016 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend Harper's Bazaar's celebration of 'ICONS By Carine Roitfeld' presented by Infor, Laura Mercier, and Stella Artois at The Plaza Hotel on September 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West leave their Apartment on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are sighted on Miami Beach on September 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Steven Gonzalez/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian arrive at a Restaurant for Valentine's day on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
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He also spoke of feeling that supporting a liberal viewpoint was forced upon him. “Man, I had my [expletive] [expletive] castrated: ‘You have to like Hillary. That’s got to be your choice,’” he said. “Because you’re black, because you make very sensitive music, because you’re a very sensitive soul, it was like an arranged marriage or something.”

However, he also acknowledged that his support for the president does not extend to all of Trump’s policies, mentioning that when his father came to visit earlier this year, “He expressed that he felt that some of the policies were hurtful and that I’m a person that does not intend to hurt people, never hurts people with intention. I expressed the example that I have a cousin that’s locked up for doing something bad, and I still love him, so I don’t base my love for a person on if they doing something good or bad.

“I hear Trump talk and I’m like, I like the way it sounds, knowing that there’s people who like me that don’t like the way it sounds,” he continued. When asked if he always likes what he hears Trump saying, he said, “No, I don’t agree with all of his policies.”

West also attempted to clarify his comment to TMZ in which he said slavery was a “choice.”

“I said the idea of sitting in something for 400 years sounds — sounds — like a choice to me, I never said it’s a choice. I never said slavery itself — like being shackled in chains — was a choice,” he said. “That’s why I went from slave to 400 years to mental prison to this and that. If you look at the clip you see the way my mind works,” suggesting that his statements are like his recent records, subject to constant revision, never completely finished.

“I think an extreme thing; I adjust it, I adjust it, I adjust it,” he explained. “That’s the way I get to it, but I have to push to, you know, the furthest concept possible… It’s literally like I feel like I’m in court having to justify a robbery that I didn’t actually commit, where I’m having to somehow reframe something that I never said. I feel stupid to have to say out loud that I know that being put on the boat was — but also I’m not backing down, bro. What I will do is I’ll take responsibility for the fact that I allowed my voice to be used back to back in ways that were not protective of it when my voice means too much.”

Read the full interview here.

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