Rapper Kanye West visited President Trump in the Oval Office Thursday to supposedly talk prison reform, gang violence and Chicago.
And man, did he talk. Sitting next to football legend Jim Brown and a lawyer for Gangster Disciples founder Larry Hoover, West launched into nearly 10 minutes of largely uninterrupted remarks before taking questions from the reporters in the room.
Here is the transcript:
Really the reason why they imprisoned him is because doing positive for the community. He started showing that he actually had power, that he wasn't just one of a monolithic voice, but he could wrap people around. So there's theories that there's infinite amounts of universe, and there's alternate universe, so it's very important for me to get Hoover out because in an alternate universe, I am him. And I have to go and get him free because he was doing positive inside of Chicago, just like how I'm moving back to Chicago and it's not just about, you know, getting on stage and being an entertainer and having a monolithic voice that's forced to be a specific party.
You know people expect that if you're black you have to be Democrat. I have -- I have conversations that basically said that welfare's the reason why a lot of black people end up being Democrat. They say, you know, first of all, it's a limit to an amount of jobs. So the fathers lose the jobs and they say we'll give you more money for having more kids in your home. And then we got rid of the mental health institutes in the ‘80s and the ‘90s and the prison rates just shot up and now you got Chiraq, what people call Chiraq, which is our murder rate is going down by 20 percent every year.
I just talked to the superintendent, met with Michael Sacks, that's Rahm's right-hand man. So I think it's the bravery that helps you beat this game called life. You know they tried to scare me to not wear this hat. My own friends. But this hat, it gives me power in a way.
You know my dad and my mom separated so I didn't have a lot of male energy in my home. And also, I'm married to a family that, you know, [laughs] not a lot of male energy going on -- it's beautiful though! But there's times where you know, there's something about -- you know, I love Hillary, I love everyone, right? But the campaign "I'm With Her" just didn't make me feel, as a guy that didn't get to see my dad all the time, like a guy that could play catch with his son. It was something about putting this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. You made a Superman. That's my favorite superhero. And you made a Superman cape for me, also as a guy that looks up to you, looks up to Ralph Lauren, looks up to American industry guys, non-political, no bulls---t -- put the beep on it, however you want to do it, five-seconds delay -- and just goes in, and gets it done!
Right now, you gave me the heart to go to Adidas. Because at Adidas, when I went in 2015, we were a $14 billion company losing $2 billion a year. Now we have a $38 billion market cap.
It's called "the Yeezy effect." And I went to Kasper, we had a meeting in Chicago, and I said, you have to bring manufacturing onshore, inshore, not even [inaudible] -- into the core. It's not about the borders, it's the core of [inaudible] and Chicago is the core of Middle America, and we have to make Middle America strong.
So I had the balls - because I had enough balls to put on this hat. I mean, this Adidas thing made me a billionaire and I could have lost $200 million walking away from that deal. But even with that, I knew it was more important for me to take the chance of walking away from that deal than to have no fathers in Chicago, with no homes, and when we do have prison reformation for no -- 'cause, it's uh, it’s habilitation, not rehabilitation, because they didn't have the abilities in the first place .
We never had anyone that taught us, they didn't teach us. Exactly, cause "we ain't have no one that taught us." Right? Ha.
So it's more important than any specific deal, anything, that we bring jobs into America and that we provide a transition with mental health and the American education curriculum that Jim has worked on, Larry Hoover also has a curriculum that he's worked on, we have Montessori curriculums that were were worked on, [inaudible] has a beautiful curriculum, the Waldorf establishment has a curriculum, we have meditation.
There's a lot of things affecting our mental health that makes us do crazy things that puts us back into that trap door called the 13th Amendment. I did say abolish with the hat on, because why would you keep something around that's a trap door? If you're building a floor, the Constitution is the base of our industry, right? Of our country, of our company. Would you build a trap door that if you mess up, accidentally something happens, you fall and you end up next to the Unabomber? You end you -- you gotta remove all that trapdoor out of the relationship.
The four gentlemen that wrote the 13th Amendment -- and I think the way the universe works is perfect. We don't have 13 floors, do we? You know the four gentlemen that wrote the 13th Amendment didn't look like the people they were amending. Also, at that point, it was illegal for blacks to read. Or African Americans to read. So that meant if you actually read the amendment, you'd get locked up! And turned into a slave!
Again, so, what I think is we don't need sentences, we need partners. We need to talk to people. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was connected with a neuropsychologist that works with the athletes in the NBA, the NFL, and he looked at my brain [inaudible]. I'm gonna go ahead and drop some bombs for you -- 98 percentile IQ test. I had a 75 percentile of all human beings, but it was counting eight numbers backwards [inaudible], repeating something. We're gonna work on that one. The other ones, 98 percent -- Tesla, Freud. You know.
So he said that I actually wasn't bipolar, I had sleep deprivation, which would cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now, where I wouldn't even remember my son's name. So all this power that I got and I'm taking my son to the Sox game and all, I wouldn't be able to remember his name from a misdiagnosis. And what we need is we can empower the pharmaceuticals and make more money. That's one thing, I've never stepped into a situation where I didn't make people more money. So we can empower pharmaceuticals, we can empower our industries, we can empower our factories. We can bring not only Adidas on shore, we can bring Foxconn to set up a factory in I think Minnesota, maybe three.
Yeah, Wisconsin. They have 4,000 jobs, people making $53,000 a year, and one of the things we've got to set is, Ford to have the highest design, the dopest cars, the most amazing -- I don't really say dope, I don't say negative words and try to flip them we just say positive, lovely, divine, universal words. So the flyest, freshest, most amazing car, and what we want to start with is -- I brought up, I brought a GIF with me right here.
[Opens his phone] This right here is the iPlane 1. It's a hydrogen-powered airplane. And this is what our president should be flying in. Look at this.
Trump: We'll get rid of Air Force One [laughs in the room]. Can we get rid of Air Force One? [Turns to group near him] No? You don't like that.
Well, we're going to have Apple, an American company work on this plane.
But you know what I don't like about -- it's not I don't like. What I need “Saturday Night Live” to improve on, or what I need the liberals to improve on, is if he don't look good [points to Trump], we don't look good. This is our president.
Trump: It's true.
He has to be the freshest, the flyest, the flyest planes, the best factories and we have to make our core be empowered. We have to bring jobs into America, because our best export is entertainment ideas, but when we make everything in China and not in America, then we're cheating on our country. And we're putting people in positions that have to do illegal things to end up in the cheapest factory ever, the prison system.
Trump: I’ll tell you what, that was pretty impressive. [Laughs in the room] I hate to say this -- Jim, you want to say something? What do you do after that?
Abby Ohlheiser, Sonia Rao and Helena Andrews-Dyer contributed.