Kanye West expressed his support for Donald Trump during a packed concert in San Jose Thursday night. But he now denies expressing support for Trump’s strong anti-immigrant stance.
Update, 4:05 pm PT: Through a representative, Kanye West has now denied making the following statement: “I hope they build a wall, I hope they get rid of them all”. The statement was originally tweeted and reported across dozens of outlets following his pro-Trump speech. An executive at Kanye West’s label, Universal Music Group division Def Jam Recordings, told Digital Music News that the statement was fabricated. On Monday (Nov. 21st), the executive asked that we remove his name from our coverage.
Kanye West shocked an audience last night in San Jose by professing his support for Donald Trump, including support for the candidate’s stance on immigration. This is the first time Kanye has expressed an opinion on matters related to immigration, specifically Mexicans, in America.
The forceful backing of Trump was met with boos and jeers, but also a smattering of applause. “Before I told you that I didn’t vote. But that was just being PC. If I would have voted, I would have voted on Trump,” Kanye told his audience amidst boos and jeers.
“They told me, ‘Ye, do not say that out loud. Whatever you do, do not say that out loud.’ And I just said it! I wanted to say that before the election and they told me, ‘Do not say that out loud. Whatever you do, do not say that.'”
It turns out that West has been a longtime, open supporter of Trump. But perhaps that got drowned out during a noisy campaign. Either way, it was news to many Kanye fans.
During the speech, some fans reportedly walked out, while others expressed shock. During the roughly 40 minute diatribe, one fan threw his shoe onto the elevated stage.
“Oh shit, you threw something at me. Does someone else wanna throw something at me? But, you know what, I got the power to get that guy kicked out, or whatever, roughed up. No. Stay here. What do you believe? That’s your opinion. Express your opinion, bro. Express your opinion. Thank you. That’s a woman right there saying, ‘I love you,’ after I just said that there was things that I liked about Trump’s campaign. That’s not supposed to happen, right? No! That’s not supposed to happen, right? Case in point.”
Kanye famously proclaimed that “George Bush doesn’t like black people” back in 2004, though his stance on racism has now shifted.
Kanye urged his fans to reconsider racism entirely.
“Before I get out of here I want to talk about race and the idea of racism in America and the world. 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 a fucking fact. We are in a racist country.”
Kanye attempted to straddle his support for Trump with support for Black Lives Matter, not to mention gay and women’s rights. That could prove tricky, especially if Kanye plans a 2020 Presidential candidacy.
“That don’t mean that I don’t think that Black Lives Matter. It don’t mean I don’t think that I’m a believer in women’s rights. It don’t mean I don’t believe in gay marriage. That don’t mean that I don’t believe in these things because that was the guy I would have voted for.”
But perhaps the most surprising comments came during a freestyle rap (updated: a representative of Kanye West says the comments were never made). According to dozens of tweets and reports from the show, West expressed ardent support for the immediate deportation of illegal immigrants (mostly Mexicans). It also includes full support for construction of a wall along the Mexican border.
“I hope they build the wall, I hope they get rid of them all,” Kanye rapped.
Update, 4:05 pm PT: A representative of Kanye West has now denied that this was rapped in a freestyle. The words were fabricated (see update above).
That comment — fabricated or otherwise — was met with immediate rebuke, most notably from Latino-focused political advocacy group, Voto Latino.
Meanwhile, Trump himself has previously thanked Kanye West for his ongoing support. “I love Kanye,” Trump said, while noting he might change his mind if he faces the rapper in a re-election bid in 2020.
Top image by Pieter-Jannick Dijkstra, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).