In today’s news that should surprise absolutely nobody, Kanye West has declared that he will vote for President Donald Trump in 2020.
GQ writer Will Welch spent five weeks with the famed (read: infamous, depending on who you ask) rapper, producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur throughout the early part of 2020. The two spoke about countless topics as they traveled across three countries. Welch followed Kanye to his compound, West Lake Ranch in Wyoming, his home in Calabasas, CA, fashion week in Paris, France, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and even a birthday party for Kid Cudi in Beverly Hills, CA. On their travels, Welch and West discussed everything from future album plans and fashion to Kanye’s Christian beliefs and, of course, Donald Trump.
“Both of my parents were freedom fighters, and they used to drink from fountains they were told they couldn’t drink from, and they used to sit in restaurants where they were told they couldn’t eat from,” said Kanye when asked about his decision to publicly don a MAGA hat. Continued West, “They didn’t fight for me to be told by white people which white person I can vote on.”
Reflecting on his responsibility as a celebrity to move culture, West noted, “Usually you’re accountable to people that are in control of your check. And you’re accountable for whatever they deem you to be the face of—for the people that they are controlling through you. So that’s what celebrity in America truly means. Celebrities are scared! Celebrities don’t have the real voice.” ‘Ye then took a moment to clarify: “But I don’t want to diss the organization of celebrities. I don’t want to be sending shots at celebrities, because I am one.”
After explaining his notorious comments about former president George Bush not caring about black people, stating his comments were “a victim statement,” West offered his thoughts on the media as well:
Black people are controlled by emotions through the media. The media puts musicians, artists, celebrities, actors in a position to be the face of the race, that really don’t have any power and really are just working for white people. When it’s said like that, it’s kind of obvious, right? We emotionally connect to someone of our color on TV and feel that this person is speaking for us. So let me say this: I am the founder of a $4 billion organization, one of the most Google-searched brands on the planet, and I will not be told who I’m gonna vote on because of my color. Now, if that speaks to you, cool. But I’m speaking for myself.
Kanye went on to say he will vote for President Trump in 2020 because he believes things like the economy are better now than when Barack Obama held office.
I buy real estate. It’s better now than when Obama was in office. They don’t teach you in school about buying property. They teach you how to become somebody’s property… I’m definitely voting this time. And we know who I’m voting on. And I’m not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over. Because guess what: I’m still here! Jesus Is King was No. 1! I was told my career would end if I wasn’t with her. What kind of campaign is that, anyway? That’s like if Obama’s campaign was “I’m with black.” What’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t have an opinion? Everybody make their own opinion! You know?
At the very least, you’ve got to respect the man’s persistence.
Read more of Welch’s interview with Kanye West here.