Kanye West Accuses John Legend of Trying to 'Manipulate My Free Thought' Amid Trump Controversy
Kanye West has gone public with a text message he received from John Legend about President Donald Trump
On Thursday, West tweeted a screenshot of a conversation he shared with Legend as the backlash to West’s public support of Trump continues.
“Hey it’s JL. I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” Legend, 39, seemingly wrote in the text message exchange. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for. As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion.”
The “All of Me” hitmaker continued: “So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color. Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”
West replied: “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.”
As the tweet went viral on Thursday, Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen chimed in.
“Everyone keeps asking me to comment on s—. Comment on psycho Tami Lasagna, whom I refuse to give the joy to, say something about RHOA, speak up about kanye,” wrote Teigen, 32. “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.”
West explained his decision to share the screenshot of his conversation with Legend in a follow-up tweet.
“I tweeted the John text to show that there are people around me that disagree with me and voice their opinion. I respect everyone’s opinion but I stand my ground,” he wrote. “if you feel something don’t let peer pressure manipulate you.”West punctuated his point by posting a continuation of his conversation with Legend. The warm exchange, which seemingly occurred after the rapper shared the first screenshot, ended with Legend taking an opportunity to jokingly make a promotional plug.“Think freely. Think with empathy and context, too. Your words and actions have consequence. Much love,” he wrote on a serious note, before adding, “And since you’re posting texts, let me add that I have a new single out haha.”West seemingly appreciated the joke.
During West’s Twitter spree on Wednesday, Legend tweeted a cryptic message after West proclaimed his love for Trump, calling him “my brother.”
“I imagine there’s some comfort in imagining a future without racism and projecting that onto the present,” penned Legend. “Thinking if we just deny the truth, it doesn’t exist. If history is erased, we don’t have to deal with its consequences. However…Far too many people don’t have the luxury of closing their eyes and ears. They feel it in their lives and can’t act like what they see and know doesn’t exist.”
Legend continued: “They know their family was destroyed by deportation or incarceration. They know their loved one was denied safe harbor because of their religion. They know their son or daughter was shot because their skin color evoked fear.”
“They see the statistics about black applications for real estate or loans or employment being turned away because their name was Jamal and not James,” he wrote, adding, “I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth.”
Legend concluded with, “The defining trait of Trump’s campaign and political profile was his embrace of white supremacy. He made it clear every time he spoke. Some serious cognitive dissonance to ignore that for the other x% you might find appealing. I guess I agree with >1% of anyone’s thoughts though.”
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West showed his support for Trump on Twitter Wednesday, writing, “You don’t have to agree with trump [sic] but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
He continued, “If your friend jumps off the bridge you don’t have to do the same. Ye being Ye is a fight for you to be you. For people In my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50 50 split but I don’t tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary I love Hillary too.”
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West recently made headlines for his ongoing Twitter spree after he cut off contact with several people in his inner circle, including his managers, lawyers and closest friends.
His wife, Kim Kardashian West, defended him in a series of her own tweets, arguing that reports labeling him “as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive” are “not fair.”