Rabat - After causing public uproar with his controversial statements on African-American history and his endorsement of President Trump, the American rapper Kanye West has finally opened up to the New York Times about what led him to make the bold moves.
Rabat – After causing public uproar with his controversial statements on African-American history and his endorsement of President Trump, the American rapper Kanye West has finally opened up to the New York Times about what led him to make the bold moves.
In an extended interview with New York Times pop critic Jon Caramanica, Kanye spoke about his personal challenges, including suicidal thoughts, his experience with bipolar disorder, and the many problems his Trump and slavery comments created within his entourage.
“There were people who said Trump would never win. I’m talking about the it-will-never-happens of the world, people in high school told you that things would never happen,” Kanye said, hinting at the comment he’d made before that Trump was like him: an outside-the-box person.
Kanye told the Times that his sympathy for Trump is engrained in the belief that Trump challenges received ideas. Donald Trump represented for Kanye a figure of autonomy, courage, and dissent. He believes that Trump embodies anti-establishment thinking and “intellectual courage.”
Escaping the ‘mob-thought’
To endorse Trump sounded to Kanye like a liberation from society’s expectations. He said he has always wanted to live defiantly, to be a rebel against established norms and opinions, and live only according to his own choices. Supporting Trump made that sound possible, as the pair shared “dragon energy,” something Kanye described as steadiness and courage in espousing values and opinions that can cause hostility and public uproar.
“I felt like I knew many people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they like him. But they told me, and I liked him, and I’m not scared to say what I like. Let me come over here and get in this fight with you,” he said. “I was living inside of some universe that was created by the mob-thought, and I had lost who I was, so that’s when I was in the sunken place.”
However, on the slavery comments and Trump’s “Muslim ban,” the rapper expressed mixed feelings. “No, I don’t agree with all of his policies,” Kanye defended himself, as he explained that loving or supporting somebody does not equate total agreement with them on everything they do.
“I said the idea of sitting in something for 400 hundred years sounds—sounds— like a choice to me, I never said its a choice. I never said slavery itself—like being shackled in chains—was a choice,” he said.
Will fans remain loyal?
Asked whether he feared that the fans he has angered may boycott him at some point, he said: “It’s not going to happen…. [Fans] got a bunch of different opinions. You’re not always going to agree, but they’re not going to leave.”
But what about the expectations that society and family have of a “successful Black man”? Does Kanye ever feel the urge to be representative, to speak for a specific group of people, and be a spokesperson for a cause?
“We need to be able to be in situations where you can be irresponsible,” he said. “That’s one of the great privileges of an artist. An artist should be irresponsible in a way—a 3-year-old.”