“Hey, did you hear what Kanye said?” This is a phrase I’ve become all too familiar with over the last week. My friends and family alike chimed in to express their distaste with rapper Kanye West’s behavior. On Oct. 11th, Kanye visited president Trump in the White House for lunch with NFL legend Jim Brown. This meeting turned out to be less of a meeting and more of a platform for Kanye to go on a politically infused rant.
For a majority of the meeting Kanye had the floor and was spitting out ideas a mile a minute. Kanye’s monologue was colorful to say the least. He spoke ferociously and freely, changing topics from moment to moment. One second he’s pushing for education reform, and the next he’s bragging about his IQ. Trump sat with a furrowed brow across from Kanye nodding periodically, seemingly humoring his outburst.
Kanye’s monologue was spattered with political commentary such as, “So it’s more important than any specific deal — anything — that we bring jobs into America, and that we provide a transition with mental health and the Amer-I-Can education curriculum that Jim has worked on.” His support of new forms of education and sourcing more jobs in America is a positive message, but it’s lost amidst his fever pitch rambling.
If Kanye could maintain focus on one topic for more than a minute, his message would have been much clearer. He went from criticizing the Thirteenth Amendment and discussing the prison system in America: ”Again — so what I think is, we don’t need sentences; we need pardons.” To bragging about how smart he is: “I’m going to go ahead drop some bombs for you — 98 percentile IQ test. I had a 75 percentile of all human beings...The other ones, 98 percent — Tesla, Freud.”
This lack of focus comes off a bit frightening, and our president is discussing politics with this man under serious pretenses. Things get even more bizarre when Kanye showed Trump a GIF from twitter and said: “This right here is the iPlane1. It’s a hydrogen-powered airplane. And this is what our President should be flying in.”
Also during his speech, Kanye expressed his continued infatuation with Trump. Kanye praised his “male energy” saying: “There was something about putting on this hat that made me feel like Superman.”
No surprise here, Kanye has made it clear time and time again that he’s got a soft spot for the action oriented style of our president. In April of this year Kanye tweeted praise for Trump for the first time, and since then he has started losing support from fans and peers.
Most of Kanye’s audience is liberal due to the general left leaning of the hip-hop community. This is why there is such outrage following his comments, especially when viewed in conjunction with some of the lyrics from his most recent music.
In one line off his most recent album Ye, Kanye raps: “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too / I’ma pray for him ’cause he got #MeToo’d / Thinkin’ what if that happened to me too.”
Kanye’s fear of being “MeToo’d” isn’t surprising. Also, he is clearly misinterpreting the movement as a tool to harm powerful men rather than an exposure of hard truth.
The biggest problem with what Kanye said is not his political message or his support of Trump, rather, it’s the random interjections of braggadocio and hyperbole. In serious political context, this should not be tolerated. Kanye doesn’t filter anything he says and it makes him appear ignorant.
Regardless of what you think of Kanye’s conservative leaning, his lack of composure and awareness on such a large platform is not acceptable. We need to stop giving celebrities these platforms and the only way to do so is to express your alarm. Some people have chosen to stop listening to Kanye’s music and others have tweeted their anger. Let the record show that you did not support Kanye when he entered the world of politics.