Kanye West: All the Times the Rapper Got Political
His meeting with Trump isn't the first time West has gotten political
A source close to West previously told PEOPLE the rapper’s family life fuels him. “He’s very focused on the future in terms of economic equality, racial equality. He actually is a very progressive thinker contrary to whatever rants may happen or what people want to say about him,” said the source. “He lives life in a political way and his family informs all of those decisions. They’re the reason he does what he does and thinks what he thinks. He considers himself a futurist. A lot of the stuff he talks about is the future, for his kids.”
But really, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: Not only have Trump and West apparently long been friends (?) but West has proven himself to be pretty political over the years.
1. He said George W. Bush didn’t care about black people.
In a 2005 interview, Bush called out the then-president, saying: “I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they’re looting. If you see a white family, it says they’re searching for food,” he said. “Those are my people down there … they’ve given [the U.S. military] permission to go down and shoot us.”
2. President Obama called him a jackass.
Kanye may not have liked Bush, but turns out, Obama wasn’t on #TeamKanye. In an off-the-cuff moment, Obama called West a “jackass” for interrupting Taylor Swift‘s speech at the 2009 VMAs.
Obama repeated the sentiment in a 2012 interview with The Atlantic. However, he did say that he liked West, too — after all, they’re both Chicagoans — so that counts for something. “Although, I like Kanye. He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented. He is a jackass. But he’s talented.”
4. He wore a confederate flag patch on his jacket.
And then went on to say about it: “React how you want. Any energy is good energy. The Confederate flag represented slavery in a way. That’s my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I wrote the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now.”
5. He said he’s going to run for president.
How do you end a nine-minute long award acceptance speech? By announcing a presidential run, naturally. West closed his Video Vanguard acceptance speech at the 2015 VMAs by saying: “If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down! I don’t know I’m fittin’ to lose after this. It don’t matter though, ’cause it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
6. He then said he actually hates politics.
Turns out, West may not be cut out for the political life — because he hates it. He said: “I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings.”
7. He said he would have voted for Trump.
But he didn’t vote, so the point is a bit moot. West revealed his support for President-elect Trump during a San Jose concert, which was then abruptly cut short by the rapper.
8. He met with President-elect Trump.
West said he wanted to have the meeting to discuss “multicultural issues.” The entertainer added that he feels “it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.”
9. He implied that he’ll be pushing back his presidential run to 2024.
Never has one tweet said so much.