Kanye West: 'I would have voted for Trump'
Kanye West said during his Saint Pablo tour stop in San Jose, California on Thursday night that he would have voted for Donald Trump had he cast a ballot in the presidential election.
“I said something that was kind of politically correct. I told you all I didn’t vote,” West said in footage posted from the show online. “But I didn’t tell you — I guess I told you — but if I would have voted, I would have voted for Trump.”
During another portion of the concert, West stopped performing for five minutes to discuss politics — engaging with hostile crowd members, one of whom threw something at West.
“What do you believe? That’s your opinion. Express your opinion, bro. Express your opinion. Thank you,” West said to the crowd member, who he refused to kick out. Highlighting the political differences between members of the audience, West added, “That’s a woman right there saying ‘I love you’ after I just said that there was things that I liked about Trump’s campaign. That’s not supposed to happen, right? No! That’s not supposed to happen, right?”
West was booed during his speech (audience members in the video below can be heard yelling “shut the f— up”), but the rapper explained what appealed to him about Trump’s campaign.
“There’s methods, non-political methods to speaking, that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. That style and method of communication has proven that it can be a politically correct way of communication. And I f— with that.”
During the last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, West said he planned to run for president in 2020. On Thursday night, West explained why he still maintained those political aspirations.
“I don’t say 2020 out of disrespect to our president at all. I’m not saying that, ‘Aw, man, that just means anybody can win.’ That’s not what I’m saying when I say 2020. I’m just saying I’ve got some ideas about the way we should connect our ideas,” West said. “We should use opposite parties — that the Republicans, that the Democrats, that everyone who ran that had an idea that people agreed with should be the collective ideas that are used to run the country. That should mean more. So it’s things that Benjamin Carson believes in that I believe in; I think that Benjamin Carson should still be a consultant. I think that Hillary Clinton should still be a consultant. I think Bill Clinton should still be a consultant. I think Obama should still be a consultant. Instead of, ‘Oh, I don’t f— with your principles so now I’m not going to give you no information that could help you help all of us.'”
West stayed quiet throughout the presidential campaign, and never publicly endorsed either Trump or his opponent, Hillary Clinton. But not speaking his mind on the race is something West seems to regret.
“You know what, also? I’m not saying this to diss celebrity at all, but particularly on the Democratic side. That’s cool. But I hate the fact that because I’m a celebrity, everybody told me not to say that I loved the debates,” West said, adding of Trump: “I loved his approach.”
West also touched on the racial divide in America during his speech, calling out “white people [who are] racist running around saying n—– now.”
“If people are racist and they feel more inspired to say how they feel, then they’re exposing themselves, bro,” he said. “This is what I’m saying. It’s already the beginning of change. Sometimes things that you might think are bad might have to happen in order for change to f—ing happen. Sometimes you might have to not get your way to really understand to what to do in the future to be able to get your way.”
Watch footage from West’s concert below.
West is no stranger to making political statements. In addition to his VMAs speech last year, the rapper infamously claimed then-president George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” during a 2005 telethon to support victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Read social media reaction to West’s Thursday night statements below.