Kanye West is no stranger to stirring controversy, so it was fair to assume his appearance on last night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” would be one for the headlines.
“Everything I’m gonna say is gonna be amazing,” he disclosed to the audience. And in true ‘Ye fashion, the multitalented rapper made a number of memorable statements that pushed him to the top of the news cycle — the most talked-about being a question posed by Kimmel that left West uncharacteristically speechless.
“You so famously and so powerfully said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,'” the talk show host recalled, citing President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy, which has separated thousands of families at the border. “It makes me wonder, ‘What makes you think that Donald Trump does — or about any people at all?'”
A few seconds of silence passed before Kimmel offered to cut to commercial, leaving the question unanswered when they returned from the break.
Despite the uncomfortable pause, West offered up some serious talking points throughout the interview, raising the importance of having open conversations about mental health and praising wife Kim Kardashian’s role in securing clemency for first-time drug offender Alice Marie Johnson.
He also continued to discuss his support of President Donald Trump — and how he eventually gained the confidence to wear the “Make America Great Again” hat in a photo that went viral on the internet.
“Just as a musician, an African-American, a guy out in Hollywood, all these different things — everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me,” he said. “And then told me every time I said I liked Trump, I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over. I’d be kicked out of the black community.”
He added: “What it represented to me is not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that. But it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone said. And saying, ‘You can’t bully me. Liberals can’t bully me; news can’t bully me; the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me.’ Because at that point, if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer ‘Ye.”
Beyond his music career, West has also established himself as a respected designer, revealing in the interview that his company was worth $1.8 billion. Kimmel even shared an anecdote about the time he was gifted a pair of shoes from the rapper’s Yeezy label.
“A few years ago, you sent me a pair of Yeezys. I have never in my life had more people come up and talk to me than when I was walking around in them. To the point where I was like, ‘This is crazy. I gotta get these off. People are chasing me!'” he joked. “I’m worried people are gonna beat me up and take these. Usually people wait, like I’ve seen them sleeping on the street waiting on these shoes.”
Watch their dialogue here.
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