The artist formerly(?) known as Kanye West went on a surprising(?) pro-Trump rant at the end of his appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” which never made the air, presumably because of time.
West — who had abruptly declared Saturday morning that he should now be called “Ye” — donned a red “Make America Great Again” hat for much of his time as the musical guest on Saturday’s premiere of the 44th season of SNL. After he performed “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi and 070 Shake, West and the SNL cast members gathered back on stage to close out the episode.
By then the show had gone off air on television. However, West continued talking to the audience.
Comedian Chris Rock, who was in attendance, posted an Instagram Story after the show with video snippets of West’s meandering speech.
Unaired snippet No. 1: “I wanna cry right now, black man in America, supposed to keep what you’re feelin’ inside right now … ” West sang.
Unaired snippet No. 2: “The blacks weren’t always Democrats. You know it’s like the plan they did, uh, to take the fathers out the home and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That’s a Democratic plan.”
Unaired snippet No. 3: “There’s so many times I talk to, like, a white person about this and they say, ‘How could you like Trump? He’s racist.’ Well, uh, if I was concerned about racism, I would’ve moved out of America a long time ago.”
In another clip, the only part that was clear was the audience booing and Rock laughing and whispering “Oh, my God” as he recorded; West then hinted again that he was running for president in 2020.
Mike Dean, a record producer for West, later posted what appeared to be more video of the rapper’s unaired speech.
In the video, West pointed at the audience and accused them of laughing at him.
“They bullied me backstage. They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage,” West shouted. “They bullied me!”
A lone supporter in the audience clapped.
“And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place?” he said, removing his MAGA hat with his left hand. “Okay, I’mma listen to y’all now.”
West swiftly put the hat back on.
“Or I’mma put my Superman cape on, ’cause this means you can’t tell me what to do,” he continued. “Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That’s how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love.”
Behind him, the SNL cast shifted awkwardly. On one side of the stage, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon had their arms around one another’s shoulders and glanced away. On the other side, Beck Bennett stood with his arms folded. Colin Jost and Pete Davidson traded whispers. Most of them had earlier skewered Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, in a cold open featuring Matt Damon.
West turned around to thank them “for giving me this platform.” He then called them out for “going at” Trump.
“I don’t think it’s actually that helpful,” he said. “I think the universe has balance. Ninety percent of news are liberal. Ninety percent of TV, L.A., New York, writers, rappers, musicians, so it’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided.”
West began segueing back into “Ghost Town.”
“I love you, Kanye!” an audience member, possibly the same one who applauded before, shouted at the stage at one point.
“I love me, too,” West replied.
The band increased the volume to signal the show was wrapping up. The SNL cast members slowly left the stage.
The fact that West’s speech never aired sprouted theories online that West had been “censored.” After the show, the president cheered West. Conservative personalities thanked him for “STANDING UP TO THE MOB.”
NBC spokeswoman Lauren Roseman said the network was “not commenting.”
It actually should have been no surprise that West would use his time on SNL to continue provoking controversy about his support for Trump. The rapper earlier this year dropped “Ye vs. the People,” in which he defended his Yeezus-turned-MAGA-hat-loving persona. In a teaser for Saturday’s “SNL” episode, West stood aloof next to Adam Driver in a red MAGA cap as the actor and Kenan Thompson hinted that the rapper was up to something.
West had been a last-minute replacement for Ariana Grande, who was originally scheduled to be Saturday’s musical guest before dropping out, citing “emotional reasons.”