On Thursday night, West appeared on the late night talk show for the first time in nearly five years, covering a variety of topics including the rapper’s political stance.
Prodding West, 41, Kimmel at one point asked, “You’ve so famously and so powerfully said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ Makes me wonder what makes you think that Donald Trump does, or any people at all?”
When West paused at length rather than provide a response, Kimmel, 50, sent the show to a commercial break.
Many were quick to react on Twitter, claiming that West had been stumped into silence.
West clarified the reason for his pause on Twitter. He wrote, “On Jimmy Kimmel we had a great time having a dialogue. I’m reading that I was stumped by a question. Let me clarify the click bait. I wasn’t stumped. I wasn’t given a chance to answer the question.”
He continued, “The question was so important I took time to think. And then I was hit with the let’s go to commercial break. That interview showed strong personalities with different opinions having a civil conversation.”
West concluded, “I was so happy when I saw Jimmy walk out in the Yeezys. That was an olive branch. He lead with love. I appreciate Jimmy and his team. You guys are Jedi’s. much love.”
Kimmel responded, “Not every question warrants an immediate answer. Some answers need to be considered and a talk show with time constraints is a difficult place to do that. I know how much Kanye cares and I am so impressed by what he is doing quietly and without fanfare to help those who need it.”
On Thursday’s show, West discussed his thoughts on Trump, after publicly supporting the leader on multiple occasions. In fact, in a tweet in April, West said that Trump has “dragon energy” and called the president “my brother.”
“My cousin is locked up for murder. I love him — he still did a bad thing, but I still love him,” West told Kimmel, Thursday. “Just as a musician, an African-American guy out in Hollywood, all these different things, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me. And then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over. I’d get kicked out of the black community because blacks are only supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats.”
“I said it right before I went to the hospital and when I came out I had lost my confidence. The confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash. It took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat no matter what the consequences were,” he said, referring to when he showed off his “Make America Great Again” hat.
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He added, “What it represented to me was not about policies — it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anybody said. You can’t bully me, liberals can’t bully me, the news can’t bully me because at that point if I’m afraid I’m no longer Ye. I actually quite enjoy when people are mad at me about certain things.”
West’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! came nearly five years after West and Kimmel publicly feuded.
The pair’s feud began when Kimmel jokingly recreated a September 2013 interview that West gave to the BBC. During the interview, West called himself “the No. 1 rock star on the planet.”
West then blasted Kimmel in scathing (and since-deleted) tweets, calling him a “manipulative media motherf—-er” He wrote, “Jimmy Kimmel put yourself in my shoes … Oh no that means you would have gotten too much good p—- in your life.” (Kim Kardashian West, the rapper’s wife, read that tweet during a “Mean Tweets” segment last year.)
The feud ended when West went on the talk show in October 2013.