Twitter just about blew up on Wednesday after West, who has been spewing his personal philosophies for almost two weeks now, veered into Trump territory. The rapper doubled down on his 2016 support for the president, writing that “the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother.” He followed up with a string of tweets championing “free thought,” plus two photos of a signed “Make America Great Again” hat.
Naturally, West’s peers had some thoughts.
Legend, West’s friend and frequent collaborator, shared a five-part thread on racism in the United States that seemed to be in reaction to the rapper’s Twitter spree. “I imagine there’s some comfort in imagining a future without racism and projecting that onto the present,” Legend began. “Thinking if we deny the truth, it doesn’t exist.” But many people of color don’t have “the luxury of closing their eyes and ears,” he continued, ending with: “I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth.”
Then, on Thursday, West tweeted a screenshot of a text message from Legend sent that morning that included: “So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color. Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”
To which West replied, “I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
Last week, West tweeted that his admiration of Candace Owens, a black activist in the pro-Trump Internet who believes black people have been brainwashed by the media to vote for Democrats. Hot 97’s Ebro Darden revealed on Monday that he and West shared a 30-minute exchange, during which the rapper again expressed his support for Owens, and the radio host asked Wednesday’s “Ebro in the Morning” guest, Monáe, what she thought of it all.
Monáe’s response — which you can watch at the 20:17 mark of this video — was disapproving.
“I believe in free thinking, but I don’t believe in free thinking if it’s rooted in — or at the expense of — the oppressed,” she said. “If your free thinking is used as fuel by oppressors to continue to oppress black people, minorities, I think it’s [expletive] and it’s not okay.”
She then added, “I think it’s important that we listen, not to respond, not to be defensive. Listen to understand. . . . And I think if we do that, then maybe we can get somewhere.”
Chance the Rapper
Chance sparked a mini controversy of his own after he defended West by tweeting, “Black people don’t have to be democrats” and following up with, “Next President gon be independent.”
He also wrote that he had spoken to West a couple days ago and found him to be “in a great space and not affected by folk tryna question his mental or physical health. Same Ye from the Vmas, same Ye from the telethon.” Kim Kardashian West similarly spoke out earlier in the day against people who called her husband’s mental health into question: “Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card? That’s just not fair.”
A widespread — and Jordan Peele-approved — gag on social media involves West being in the sunken place from “Get Out.” West tweeted multiple photos of his house on Wednesday to prove that he was not in the sunken place, which Peele jokingly cited as inspiration for a sequel.
Snoop Dogg joined in by sharing paparazzi photos of West wearing his MAGA hat. “That’s mighty white of you Kanye,” he captioned the photo. “![Expletive] if u don’t snap out of it Get out part 2.”
Ocean simply posted a photo on Tumblr of West standing next to Mike Myers during a 2005 NBC telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief. (It is the same telethon Chance referenced in his tweet.) West reportedly told Myers that he was “going to ad-lib a little bit” and famously proceeded to blurt out, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Before all the pro-Trump tweets, news broke that West had parted ways with his manager, Scooter Braun. He confirmed this on Twitter, of course: “I no longer have a manager. I can’t be managed.” But the two appear to be on good terms. West later said he’d “like Scooter Braun to be a part of this new platform we’re creating,” and called his former manager “a genius.” Braun had a tongue-in-cheek response to day’s events:
Smith made headlines last month after telling Complex that his friendships with West, Drake and Donald Glover changed after his own music career took off. “I always felt like Little Homie before and that allowed me in all of their circles,” Smith said. “But now that I’m on the charts next to them, I’m not really Little Homie anymore.”
Though he didn’t mention West by name, he seemingly shaded the older rapper on Wednesday.
After someone on Twitter asked Lupe Fiasco to speak with West for “the sake of America,” the rapper responded that he loved West but would only talk to him “so that I could tell him to give Cudi the phone.” West signed Kid Cudi in 2008 and announced last week that the two would release a joint album titled “Kids See Ghosts” in June.
Like Smith, J. Cole didn’t mention West by name, but instead shared a suggestive Nas lyric: “These are our heroes.” (West also named Nas as a collaborator on Sunday.)
And finally, an exasperated Ice-T.