Kanye West talks backlash over Donald Trump support: 'I'm a black guy with a red hat, can you imagine'


Kanye West likes having Donald Trump on speed dial.

In a wide-ranging profile in the Wall Street Journal magazine, the rapper, designer and Mr. Kim Kardashian talked about the president, with their shared “dragon energy,” and not being a typical Trump supporter.

Rapper Kanye West speaks during his meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Kanye West, at the White House in 2018, talks backlash over Donald Trump support. (Photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP)

West recalled to the interviewer how when A$AP Rocky was being held on assault charges in Sweden last July, he chartered a plane to the country. But after being told the Swedish government would frown on that, West canceled the plane and instead called Trump’s senior advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House. At the time, West was in his swimming pool in Calabasas, Calif., and less than an hour later, after West had climbed out of the pool and was having breakfast, his phone rang and it was the president. That day, Trump tweeted this:

West — still not a registered voter — came out as a Trump supporter in 2016 and unforgettably visited the White House, delivering a speech/rant that was very Kanye. He’s said they have a shared “dragon energy” — and stands by that as well as the relationship he forged with the reality star politico.

“I’m a black guy with a red [MAGA] hat, can you imagine?” West said.

He said going public with his support of Trump, “Reminded me of how I felt as a black guy before I was famous, when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something. ‘This is your place, Ye, don’t talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you’re black, so you’re a Democrat.’”

American rapper and producer Kanye West embraces real estate developer and US President Donald Trump in the White House's Oval Office, Washington DC, October 11, 2018. West wears a red baseball cap that reads 'Make America Great Again,' Trump's campaign slogan. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
Kanye West embraces President Trump in the White House's Oval Office on Oct.11, 2018. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

West said he resents people making assumptions about him because he’s black or a rapper or a college dropout. And being a celebrity and rich hasn’t protected him from it.

“Everything is about putting people in their place. Classism, protectionism — not just racism,” he said. “Classism is like living on a bookshelf. The more money you have, the higher you go. And you get to the top and look over and what do you see? Fear.”

In the interview, he also talked at length about his plans and projects outside of music, from his fashion goals to building those Star Wars-inspired housing units to shelter the homeless that he had to take down last year because he didn’t have the proper permits. He’s planning to build the shelters again in Wyoming, where he purchased a ranch, saying the state has fewer restrictions.

Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, he asked his design team if it’s possible to start making masks and gowns as the plea for those items for medical professionals continues. The story noted that West donated to food banks in L.A. and Chicago amid the outbreak and while he contemplated giving away his “perfect hoodie” he’s been working on for free, he decided against it because, in his words, “the hoodie is arguably the most important piece of apparel of the last decade.”

As for all the projects he’s juggling, he said, “I do not like the word ambitious. I’m Kanye West. The word ambitious is beneath my abilities. I’m just a doer. You can see in my eyes there’s not one bit of fear.”

And in doing so, he added, “I got to live out every version of ego — rapper, I had my own [version of] Jordans, I’m married to Kim Kardashian West.”

For what it’s worth, Kardashian, whom he’s in quarantine with in California amid the pandemic (along with their four kids), loved his interview, sharing her praise of him and it on Twitter.

What isn’t mentioned in the profile is West and Kardashian’s resurrected feud with Taylor Swift, which you can read about here.

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