Chance the Rapper apologizes for defending Kanye West’s Trump comments
It’s never a boring day when Kanye West is back on Twitter, but this week saw unprecedented levels of drama. As West tweeted out repeated messages of support for President Donald Trump, his friends and peers tried to intervene in various ways. John Legend told him to “reconsider aligning with Trump” in text messages that West posted to Twitter, while Chance the Rapper stuck up for his Chicago mentor, tweeting, “Black people don’t have to be Democrats.” After Trump tweeted a thank-you to Chance on Friday, the rapper (real name Chancelor Bennett) responded with a clarification and apology. “My fault yo,” he tweeted to his fans, along with a written statement.
“Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about my city and loved ones,” Bennett wrote. “Kanye West is not just a mentor or big homie to me. He’s my family. No matter how much I disagree with him, it’s hard for me to watch people talk about someone I love — even if they were justified in doing so. I didn’t speak up because I agree with what Kanye had to say or cause I f— with Trump, I did it because I wanted to help my friend and cause I felt like I was being used to attack him.”
Bennett was unequivocal in his feelings about Trump, writing “I’d never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism, and discrimination. I’d never support someone who’d talk about Chicago as if it’s hell on Earth and then takes steps to discredit my brothers and sisters in the movement and I can’t sit by and let that happen either.”
Trump has repeatedly singled out Chicago as a violent city. West and Bennett are both from Chicago, but the younger rapper has remained in the city and worked to solve its problems. He personally donated $1 million to the Chicago public school system in 2017 and showed up at a Chicago City Council meeting last November to plead on behalf of student protesters against Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for an expensive new police academy.
Bennett’s tweet about how “black people don’t have to be Democrats” was similar to one of West’s own tweets, about how “Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed.” But Bennett acknowledged that his tweet was not timed well.
“My statement about black people not having to be Democrats (though true) was a deflection from the real conversation and stemmed from a personal issue with the fact that Chicago has had generations of Democratic officials with no investment or regard for black schools, black neighborhoods, or black lives,” Bennett wrote. “But again, said that s— at the wrong time.”
Check out the full statement below.