Kanye West is at it again. No, not shaking up the music industry — this time he’s shaking up politics, and his latest target was former President Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, the controversial rapper and entertainment icon had critical words for the 44th president, something that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
During a somewhat self-centered rant during an online interview, Kanye insisted that Obama is a fan of his music but voiced disappointment with the president.
“I’m your favorite,” the bombastic musician said about Obama. “But I’m not safe. But that’s why you love me. So just tell me you love me! And tell the world you love me. Don’t tell the world I’m a jacka–.”
That complaint dates back to Barack Obama’s first term when the president reportedly called Kanye West a “jacka–” several times. The first was after the rapper interrupted pop singer Taylor Swift during an awards show, and the second was in a magazine interview reiterating the insult.
Even though Obama’s “diss” was made years ago, it apparently has stayed with Kanye.
“You know, he never called me to apologize,” the rapper explained this week. “The same person who sat down with me and my mom, I think should have communicated with me directly and been like, ‘Yo, Ye, you, you know what it is. I’m in the room and it was just a joke.'”
By itself, the musician’s frustration with Obama might just be a side note, but it’s a noteworthy addition to other statements that Kanye has recently made.
Over the last several weeks, the entertainer has voiced his support for conservative black speaker Candace Owens and, shockingly, Donald Trump. At the same time, he has pushed back against criticism from liberals for having independent views.
“Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas,” he lamented on Twitter Tuesday. The day before, he also shared several quotes from well-known conservative thinker Thomas Sowell, including a criticism of socialism.
Perhaps most interestingly, Kanye seemed to echo the general message of Candace Owens during an interview with “TMZ Live” this week.
Owens and several other black conservatives have maintained that black culture is stuck in a mentality of victimhood, and many African Americans are still living as proverbial “slaves” in their way of thinking and living, instead of moving beyond the past.
During the quickly chaotic TMZ interview, Kanye West implied that slavery was something that Africans had a role in perpetuating.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years,” West stated. “For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all?”
That may have been a reference to the historical fact that African traders were directly involved in slavery even before it came to America.
“Like, we’re mentally in prison,” he continued. “Like, slavery goes direct(ly) to the idea of blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
Of course, it’s hard to tell if all of this is just Kanye West’s philosophical flavor of the week or a genuine shift in his way of thinking. At this point, it could go either way, but there do seem to be clues that the rapper and much of black culture overall is re-considering conservatism.
Kanye might not always make perfect sense, and he may often seem to be in ten directions at once, but someone who reads Candace Owens and Thomas Sowell can’t be all bad.
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