Kanye West is no stranger to controversy, nor is he a stranger to pausing his concerts to go on long, politics-laden rants.
Thursday night was no different.
During the first show of the second leg of his Saint Pablo tour, West paused his San Jose, show to speak about — take a wild guess — the election.
While West opening up about the momentous election wasn’t particularly surprising, his candidate of choice sure was: Donald Trump.
It’s important to note that West didn’t actually spent his Tuesday earlier this month going all the way to a voting booth, which might have been in a church or even, gasp, a public school.
“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right?” West said to many screaming and adoring fans.
Then, he dropped the bombshell.
“But if I would have voted, I would have voted on Trump,” he said.
The crowd’s screams quickly transformed into confused boos. West is the man who, as The Washington Post noted, did the following:
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, killing more than 1,800 people and causing an estimated $96 billion in damage. During a live NBC telethon to raise money for hurricane victims, Kanye went off-script while standing next to an uncomfortable Mike Myers. Kanye famously concluded, before the feed cut away, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
To many of his fans, then, it likely seemed strange that he suddenly proffered public support for a man who has in the past several months garnered headlines in national media such as “Donald Trump Is a Racist,” “Here Are 13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist” and, here in The Washington Post, “Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.”
West didn’t appear to offer any concrete reasons as to why he might support a man who once said black people are “living in hell,” leading some, such as MTV’s Alex Pappademas, to wonder if he was trolling his audience merely to get a rise out of them. (After all, this is the same man who appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing a crown of thorns, next to the tagline “The Passion of Kanye West.”)
One Twitter user, who claimed to have been at the concert, live-tweeted West’s rant.
Finally, he offered the kind of sweet message that those on both sides of the aisle should come together.
His fans were, unsurprisingly, unhappy.
Then again, maybe it wasn’t all that surprising. After all, as The Washington Post noted, comparing the two’s egos by this point has become a sport.
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