Ye had much more to say. After weighing in on his Drake beef and cancel culture in the first stem-winding episode of N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s popular rap podcast Drink Champs last week, the artist formerly known as Kanye West was back for a second, equally epic round of opining in the nearly 80-minute follow-up installment that dropped on Friday morning (Nov. 12).
Holding forth on everything from what he termed the “modern day slavery” of Black people to his unwavering support for former president Donald Trump, his legendary run-in with Taylor Swift, Christians in the KKK and a potential Drake collab, West kept the conversation extra spicy in part two.
The chat included Larry Hoover Jr., 47, talking about never seeing his dad outside of prison walls his entire life and the difficulty of his children never getting a chance to hug their gramps. “It’s all because of Kanye… to give me the platform to speak on my father,” Hoover Jr. said, thanking the rapper for advocating for his father’s release and including his plea to free the elder Hoover on the Donda album.
Hoover, a former leader of the Gangster Disciples gang, has been in prison since 1973, when he was convicted of killing a 19-year-old drug dealer and was later hit with additional charges following an investigation into his alleged criminal activities that have resulted in multiple life sentences.
West described his advocacy for Hoover when he visited former president Trump in the White House and described the beefed-up legal team he is assembling for an appeal, which he said includes Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer who helped release disgraced comedian Bill Cosby. “I feel like it’s in the footsteps of my father-in-law [late O.J. Simpson attorney] Robert Kardashian… the first Black victory, before we had Oprah and Obama we had OJ,” the rapper said, explaining how the 1995 acquittal of former football star Simpson in a double-murder case was a kind of vindication for all the people “that’s wrongfully locked up.”
“Trump pushed through the First Step act, n—as,” West said forcefully after the show’s host seemed confused about which president had passed the 2018 criminal justice bill. “What it means is stop d–k-ridin’ f–in’ Democrats who don’t do s–t for us and be dissin’ Trump,” he added before a long digression about industry plants and mental control by unnamed shady groups in board rooms that “that might have” some Black people in them, but not “dark dark dark-skinned Black people” on corporate boards.
Wearing black gloves, a leather jacket and dark shades, Ye — who at one point described musicians as “cows” headed to the slaughter in the music industry and compared himself to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin — held forth on a wide range of topics, including the recently floated idea of him doing a show with Drake in support of Hoover’s release. He also touched on how Trump allegedly bragged that his “Black approval rating” shot up by 40% when he said West was his friend after Ye called to ask for help in freeing A$AP Rocky from a Swedish jail in 2019.
At one point, Ye called out unnamed people who he suggested were conspiring against his estranged wife Kim Kardashian West’s drive to become a lawyer because when she does, “that shirt gets a little higher, the cleavage gets a little bit more covered up,” while casually claiming that Kim has failed the bar exam three times so far.
West touched on his dreams of “buying America,” noting that he is selling his two ranches in Wyoming because friend Elon Musk has encouraged him to buy land in Austin, Texas and Young Thug suggested he relocate to Houston to create communities that grow fresh, organic food and use the least amount of energy from the grid as possible.
One of the most interesting digressions was a bit when West ticked off a list of controversial things he’s done — from wearing skinny jeans back in the day, to not voting for the Democratic bill of Biden/Harris to moving into an Atlanta stadium while finishing Donda — as an example of how his detractors use the “you crazy” construction to dismiss him. “And I could do all these things… and I’m a tell you like this, for Britney Spears for anybody… okay, ‘I’m crazy, but what ya’ll gonna do about it?'” Both West and Kardashian West have spoken about the rapper’s struggle with bi-polar disorder in the past.
And, of course, he touched on his infamous stage rush of frenemy Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs in 2009, saying that he did a “personal exile” to Japan after the incident during a long discourse on his time collaborating with fashion designer Giuseppe Zanotti. “All of America hate me, ‘you was wrong! You wrong for this one! You won’t win this!’ Everybody telling me, ‘you shouldn’t have ran on stage. You were rude, God forbid!'”
And not for nothing, but near the end Ye claimed that he was never a “backpack rapper,” and only adopted that persona to get over. It was not entirely clear if he was joking, but he smiled as he said, “I was using… I’m sorry, I apologize once again to [Talib] Kweli, I’m sorry I never f—ed with your raps,” as the room exploded into laughs when N.O.R.E. noted Ye was just spotted hanging with Kweli and Dave Chappelle.
Check out the video for part two of Ye’s Drink Champs interview below.