A Timeline of Kanye West & Donald Trump's Relationship
Kanye West has love for a lot of things and people and apparently, President Donald Trump nabbed a spot on his list. "You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him," West tweeted on April 25.
"I do love Donald Trump," he also allegedly said to Hot 97 radio personality Ebro Darden, who spoke with 'Ye over the weekend after the rapper tweeted his support for conservative commentator Candace Owens.
Ye's comments were met with anger and caused a divide among Kanye devotees but West's never been one to mince words and his "love" for Donald Trump is nothing new. In 2016, West shocked fans during his Saint Pablo tour stop in Sacramento when he dived into a rant voicing his support for Trump, which then led to a meeting with Trump weeks later at the Trump Tower.
'Ye relationship with Trump isn't one-sided, though. Trump has also named-checked West a few times, which started off a bit rocky after the former reality star called for a boycott against West after the 2009 MTV VMAs incident with Taylor Swift. However, in the year since the pair has seemingly shared a mutual admiration for each other's work, despite the opinions of others.
Here, Billboard takes a look at Kanye West and Donald Trump's relationship through the years.
Donald Trump Gives His Two Cents on the Kanye West/Taylor Swift MTV VMA Debacle - 2009
West was the subject of controversy in 2009 when he stormed on stage while Taylor Swift was delivering her speech after winning best female video over Beyonce, and grabbed the mic to let the world know Swift was undeserving of the award and it should've gone to Bey instead. The moment quickly changed the course of West's career as he received a wave of backlash, ultimately making him one of the industry's "bad guys." According to TMZ at the time, Donald Trump felt like the rapper's behavior was "disgusting" and urged people to boycott West to ensure "this kind of thing doesn't happen again."
Trump Sent Kimye Well-Wishes For Their Big Wedding Day - 2014
Trump may not have been invited to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's wedding ceremony in 2014, but he did wish the then-newlyweds a happy marriage and said he considers himself to be friends with the couple. "I certainly wish them the best of luck," he told Extra host Mario Lopez. "I know them well and they're both very nice people."
Kanye Announces 2020 Presidential Bid at MTV VMAs, Donald Trump Responds - 2015
In a surprising turn of events, Taylor Swift presented West with the MTV Video Vanguard Award. His speech touched on everything from the night he interrupted Swift's speech to creativity and politics.
"If my grandfather was here right now he would not let me back down! I don't know what I'm finna lose after this. It don't matter, though, it's not about me. It's about ideas. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth," West told the crowd. "And yes, as you probably could've guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
West's announcement shocked the audience and viewers around the world, except Trump, who told Rolling Stone he hopes to have West as a running mate in a presidential election. "He's said very nice things about me in the past...extremely positive things," Trump told the magazine, adding that he saw West's presidential bid announcement and felt he inspired by it. "He's actually a different kind of person than people think. He's a nice guy," Trump continued. "I hope to run against him someday."
West Pays Homage to Trump in "Famous" Video - 2016
Kanye West caused quite a stir when he released the provocative music video for his Life of Pablo cut "Famous," which features wax figures of celebrities like Swift, Chris Brown, Kim Kardashian, Bill Cosby, Rihanna, and Trump. It’s not in support or anti any of [the people in the video],” West told Vanity Fair. “It’s a comment on fame."
The Saint Pablo Tour San Jose Rant - 2016
When Saint Pablo concertgoers flocked to San Jose to enjoy a night of West's extensive music catalog, they certainly left with an unforgettable experience. West's San Jose speech clocked in at nearly 25 minutes as the rapper discussed his political views and publicly endorsed Donald Trump. "[Voting for Trump] don't mean that I don't think that black lives matter; that don't mean I don’t believe in women's rights; that don't mean that I don't believe in gay marriage, that don't mean I don't believe in these things because that was the guy I would've voted for," he said to the crowd. Elsewhere in his speech, West said that "If I would've voted, I would've voted for Trump," which caused both "boo's" and praise to commence.
Kanye just said if he had voted (which he didn't) he would've voted Trump. pic.twitter.com/g2HyFz6KPD— Justin Yang (@justin_yang) November 18, 2016
Kanye Visits Trump at the Trump Towers in NYC - 2016
Shortly after his San Jose Saint Pablo tour stop, West was admitted to the hospital for stress and exhaustion. Days after being hospitalized, the rapper was released and paid a visit to Donald Trump at the Trump Towers, which didn't sit well with Ye's peers or fans. "I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues," West began his now-deleted Twitter rant. "I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues," he continued. West also said he feels it's "important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change."
Kanye Professes His "Love" For Trump to Ebro Darden - 2018
West suddenly reactivated his Twitter earlier in April 2018 and tweeted about a myriad of topics, all leading up to his major album announcement. This June, West will be releasing a solo album and a joint project with Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghosts. However, the subsequent tweets left fans confused and angered as West began to voice his support for Trump-supporters like Candace Owens and Scott Adams. Ebro Darden, Hot 97 host, spoke with West about his comments, but his support for Trump didn't waver and he reportedly replied: "I do love Donald Trump." The president returned the favor, thanking Kanye for vocalizing his support. "Thank you Kanye, very cool," he wrote on April 25.
West has since returned to Twitter but he hasn't addressed Darden's claims -- well, not yet. According to G.O.O.D Music affiliate Malik Yusef, West is expected to discuss his Trump comments this Friday. Yusef didn't say how or when West will address the situation but chances are he'll share his thoughts on Twitter.
Thank you Kanye, very cool! https://t.co/vRIC87M21X— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
Kanye Talks Support of Trump During Interview With Charlamagne Tha God and Controversial Visit to TMZ - May 2018
May 1 ended up being a busy day for Ye on the internet. First, he published an extensive interview with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God at his Calabasas home, which CTG claims to actually have taken place a month earlier. Trump came up often in conversation, but West refused to back down from siding with Trump when pressed about the issue by Charlamagne.
"When he was running, it's like I felt something. The fact that he won, it proves something. It proves that anything is possible in America. Donald Trump can be president of America. I'm not talking about what he's done since he's in office. But the fact that he was able to do it -- remember when I said I was gonna run for president? I had people that was close to me, friends of mine, like making jokes, making memes, talking shit. Now it's like, oh, that was proven that that could have happened. I felt the nonconventional," Yeezy explained.
Later in the day, West made a jarring appearance on TMZ Live (May 1). Host Harvey Levin questioned why Kanye would ever want to wear a Make America Great Again hat, which West passed off as his sub-conscious speaking to him. "I just love Trump, that's my boy," he explained. The 41-year-old continued to stir up controversy when he mentioned the headline-grabbing "slavery sounding like a choice" later on during the interview. "When you hear about slavery for 400 years…for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," said West.
Kanye West stirs up the TMZ newsroom over TRUMP, SLAVERY and FREE THOUGHT. There's A LOT more that went down ... and the fireworks are exploding on @TMZLive today. Check your local listings for show times. pic.twitter.com/jwVsJCMPiq— TMZ (@TMZ) May 1, 2018
After Being "Stumped" on Kimmel, Trump Tweets Kanye Thanking Him - Aug. 2018
West made his return to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Aug. 9 for a 20-minute conversation. Kimmel challenged Kanye on Trump's propencity to care for the African-American community, "You so famously and so powerfully said ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ It makes me wonder, what makes you think that Donald Trump does?" To which Yeezy followed with an extended pause, prompting Jimmy to order the show to take a commercial break.
Following the appearance, West cleared up the confusion that he wasn't in fact "stumped" by the question. “On Jimmy Kimmel we had a great time having a dialogue," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "I’m reading that I was stumped by a question. Let me clarify the click bait. I wasn’t stumped. I wasn’t given a chance to answer the question."
Donald Trump brought the reinforcements for his friend, Kanye. "Thank you to Kanye West and the fact that he is willing to tell the TRUTH. One new and great FACT - African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honored by this. Thank you Kanye for your support. It is making a big difference," Trump penned (Aug. 10).
Thank you to Kanye West and the fact that he is willing to tell the TRUTH. One new and great FACT - African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honored by this. Thank you Kanye for your support. It is making a big difference!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Kanye Wears Make America Great Again Hat During Saturday Night Live Appearance - Sept. 2018
Kanye West was tapped as the musical guest of the season 44 premiere of SNL (Sept. 29), which was supposed to coincide with the release of his Yandhi album following the show. As his live performance of "Ghost Town" was coming to a close, Yeezy went off on a Trump-related tangent, preaching his message of love. Unfortunately for West, his rant was cut off to the general viewing public, but footage did surface online courtesy of those in attendance. Once again, the president backed Kanye while dissing Saturday Night Live the next day.
"Like many, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live (even though I past hosted it) - no longer funny, no talent or charm. It is just a political ad for the Dems. Word is that Kanye West, who put on a MAGA hat after the show (despite being told “no”), was great. He’s leading the charge," Trump tweeted.
Like many, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live (even though I past hosted it) - no longer funny, no talent or charm. It is just a political ad for the Dems. Word is that Kanye West, who put on a MAGA hat after the show (despite being told “no”), was great. He’s leading the charge!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2018
Kanye Expresses Hopes to Have Donald Trump Meet With Colin Kaepernick on TMZ Live - Oct. 2018
West returned to TMZ Live (Oct. 1) following his polarizing appearance for a second sit-down discussion with Harvey Levin, but this time, it would be held outdoors. By this point, Kanye's love affair with Trump is well-documented. For the first time, Yeezy mentioned how he hopes to one day have the president meet Colin Kaepernick, so the pair can hash out the differences and unite both fronts.
"I've been calling Colin [Kaepernick] this morning so I can bring Colin to the White House and we can remove that 'sons of bitches' statement and we can be on the same page," he said. "I am American and give my ideas to whoever ends up in office," the Chicago native declared. "That's my stance as an American. I support our president, bottom line, no matter who they are. [This hat] represents y'all can't bully me."
Kanye Visits Trump in the Oval Office, Goes on Epic 10-minute Monologue - Oct. 2018
Yeezy popped up at the White House, where he delivered a memorable 10-minute soliloquy prior to enjoying lunch with Mr. Trump and former NFL running back Jim Brown. West stole the show at the Oval Office, dishing on a multitude of topics in front of press and right across the table from the president, who was left speechless following Kanye's rant. "It was something about when I put this hat on that made me feel like Superman. You made a Superman -- that's my favorite superhero -- you made a Superman cape," the Chicago native told Trump.