“I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius”
On stage in San Jose, CA last night, Kanye West said he admired Donald Trump’s election campaign and would have voted for him, according to multiple videos and social media reports. “I told y’all I didn’t vote, right?” Kanye said. “But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted on Trump.” He also reaffirmed his commitment to run for president in 2020, saying he would use the same model as Trump. Below, watch clips from the crowd, taken at various stages of the show. Scroll down to read transcripts of two segments, totalling 15 minutes; according to a fan who live-tweeted the political interludes, Kanye talked politics for one hour throughout the concert.
Specifically to black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, OK? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much. It’s just a fucking fact. We are in a racist country, period. Do not allow people to make us talk about that so fucking long. Let’s talk about whatever the fuck you wanna talk about. Let’s stop talking about that, bro. It’s racist, OK? … And not one or the other candidate was gonna instantly be able to change that because of their views. Bottom fucking line.
Outside of the endorsement, Kanye’s language suggested Trump’s politics interested him less than his rhetorical style. “There’s nonpolitical methods to speaking that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. And that style, and that method of communication, has proven that it can beat a politically correct way of communication. And I fuck with that.” He said Trump’s approach wasn’t just “entertaining—I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius. Because it fucking worked!”
He also said, “Sometimes things that you might think are bad need to happen, in order for change to fucking happen. Sometimes you might have to not get your way to really understand what to do in the future, to be able to get your way.”
Since Trump’s election, figures across the music world have spoken out. Thom Yorke, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, Questlove, Janelle Monáe, Win Butler, M.I.A., Anohni, and innumerable other artists lamented the election result on social media. El-P, who vowed to stop wearing potentially triggering red hats, was one of many public figures to rally for Planned Parenthood donations. Russell Simmons wrote an open letter repudiating Trump’s proposed encroachment on the rights of Muslims, people of color, and women, as well as his climate change skepticism. Yoko Ono responded with a 15-second squeal of abject horror. Labels donating to charities such as Planned Parenthood and Southern Poverty Law Center include Run for Cover and Tiny Engines.