Kanye West has always been something of a provocateur and a nihilist, and is staunchly anti-political correctness.
Last night he stirred a maybe unprecedented level of controversy, however, declaring at a Saint Pablo Tour show in San Jose: “I would have voted on Trump”.
“This is my platform and I’m going to talk about the paradigm shift that’s happening right now,” he said at the top of a 40-minute political speech that came at the cost of several songs.
It’s hard to ascertain exactly the point he was trying to make as we only have tweets and videos from attendees, not a transcript, to go off, but it sounds as though he was mostly praising the disruptive nature of Trump’s campaign, which ‘inspired racists to reveal themselves’.
“Whether you voted for Hillary or Trump, this is a safe space for both of you,” he told the audience, asking any Trump voters to make themselves known. He also reiterated his desire to run for president in 2020, saying his focus would be on education and that his campaign would use a different political model.
“Stop focusing on racism,” he added, declaring sombrely: “We are in a racist country – period.” His stance stands in stark contrast to 2005 Kanye, who famously declared that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” in the wake of the devestating Hurricane Katrina.
The concert received an understandably mixed response.
Kanye was apparently happy when one woman screamed that she loved him in spite of his appreciation of Trump’s campaign, but there was also a lot of booing, stunned silence and even a few projectiles – one of which was a Yeezy shoe, which Kanye promptly signed and returned to the thrower.