Following his polarizing Saturday Night Live appearance, Kanye West made his highly anticipated return to TMZ Live on Monday (Oct. 1). Yeezy sat down with TMZ founder Harvey Levin for an in-depth conversation, gymnastically jumping through a multitude of topics that popped into West’s brain at the time.
The 41-year-old’s Yandhi album was originally slated to be released on Saturday, but the project has now been pushed back to Black Friday (Nov. 23). The Chicago-bred rapper discussed the future of his hometown of Chicago, having Colin Kaepernick meet with Donald Trump, plans to run for president in 2024, and much more during the conversation.
West’s sit-down with Levin marks his first time at TMZ since his controversial appearance in May when he made comments suggesting that slavery was a “choice.” Following the interview, TMZ showed footage of West shooting part of the video to Teyana Taylor‘s “We Got Love” in their office parking lot on an iPhone. Harvey says they will have the finished video to premiere on Tuesday’s (Oct. 2) TMZ Live.
Here are five things we learned from Kanye West’s appearance on TMZ Live.
Kanye’s Own Team Didn’t Want Him Wearing the MAGA Hat on SNL
West’s closing rant following a star-studded “Ghost Town” performance ended up being cut off to public viewers watching SNL on television. Luckily, it was caught live by those in attendance, including Chris Rock and Mike Dean. “They bullied me backstage. They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on,'” said Ye.
Many thought that was directed at SNL employees, but Kanye clarified that it was actually members of his own team attempting to coerce him into not wearing the red MAGA hat during his performance. “The bullying came from people around me in my circle, telling me why I shouldn’t wear the hat. It put my energy in a reactionary place. For me, I got the right to wear what I want. I will not be bullied because I do what I feel. I wanted to clarify that it wasn’t SNL,” Yeezy explained. “It was my staff.”
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
He Clarified He Wants to “Amend” the 13th Amendment
Keeping up with Kanye can be somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. On Sunday, he tweeted about potentially abolishing the 13th Amendment, which actually abolished slavery in 1865. He put out the fire by following up and explaining that he misspoke and actually wants to amend the 13th amendment because it encourages mass incarceration.
West went on to read a statement written out by childhood friend and fellow rap compatriot GLC getting into the technicalities of the amendment. “Abolish was the wrong language. I misspoke. Amend is the right language. What’s beautiful about our Constitution is we can amend it,” Kanye clarified. “[The 13th Amendment] translates to in order to make a freed man a slave, all you have to do is convict them of a crime. There are [prisoners] getting paid 8 cents a week working for companies that are privately owned and a lot of them are first-time offenders.”
this represents good and America becoming whole again. We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love pic.twitter.com/a15WqI8zgu
— ye (@kanyewest) September 30, 2018
He Still Plans to Run for President in 2024
In what started off as another far-fetched dream for Kanye, the idea of him running for president keeps getting more attention as election time nears. West reaffirmed plans to run for president in 2024 rather than 2020, as he looks to talk his presidential bid into existence and normalize the idea for a celebrity to defy the odds.
“I was telling my dad that I was running for office in 2024. He was like, ‘That’s going to cost a lot of money.’ I was like, Dad, ‘We’re going to have all the money in the world as soon as I run.’ One of the things I’m going to do when I run is I’m not going to give answers off the cuff; I’m going to talk to experts.”
Going to Africa in Two Weeks to Record Yandhi
When asked about the whereabouts of Yandhi, Ye was quick to admit that he didn’t have the proper time to deliver a finished product he would be proud of. “I didn’t finish it,” he said.
“I started incorporating sounds that you’ve never heard before, pushing, and having concepts that people don’t talk about. We have concepts talkin’ about body shaming and women being looked down upon for how many people that they’ve slept with. It’s just a full Ye album. Those five albums that I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation. Now the alien Ye is fully back in mode, off of medication, working out, breathing as much fresh air as possible, thinking, doing, being himself.”
West detailed how he plans to travel to Africa with his family to work on the project later in October. “We’re going to Africa in two weeks to record. I felt this energy when I was in Chicago, I felt the roots. But we have to go to what is known as Africa,” he said. “I need to go, I need to find out what it’s really called. Just grab the soil and be and cook food — five meals a day so the metabolism stays up — have my kids in the studio, and have the mic in the open so you can hear nature while we’re recording.”
Kanye confirmed that Yandhi is now slated to release on Nov. 23. “So we’re going to bring out the album on what is known as Black Friday, Nov. 23,” says West.
The 41-year-old went on to mention the transitional period he’s currently enduring while pulling on newfound inspiration from his kids. “A lot of people say there haven’t been albums as good as Watch the Throne, Dark Fantasy and 808s, since that time,” said Kanye. “There’s a lot of transitions I’ve gone through in my life. [One of them is] getting comfortable with transitioning from being this crazy rapper to a dad and finding the inspiration in my daughter and seeing myself in her. She makes me see me.”
He’s Trying to Organize a Meeting Between Donald Trump & Colin Kaepernick at the White House
Kanye’s support of Donald Trump and his overall thoughts on politics have been a lightning rod for conversation in 2018. Levin continually pressed West about his political ideologies and Yeezy maintained his message of leading with love in all situations, even with people we don’t agree with. “Do you give up on somebody growing when they are unrelenting?” questioned Harvey.
“We never give up on anyone,” says the father of three. “Let me make that more positive. We move forward, we give love, we keep going, we keep having the conversation until the conversation turns to love. 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.”
Levin later asked Kanye if wearing the hat represents his support of Donald Trump. “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.”