Kanye West, with a New Album Out, Refuses to Back Down
Trump-supporting rapper released work that's less politically charged than expected, but he's still standing his ground
Kanye West debuted his new album, “Ye,” on Friday at a Wyoming listening party. Despite the rapper’s newly formed allegiance to President Donald Trump, there wasn’t as much mention of the president as one may have expected, given West’s actions in April and early May.
The seven-track album did not feature “Ye vs. the People,” West’s recent pro-Trump song, which debuted in late April. That doesn’t mean, though, that he didn’t steer clear of political messages altogether.
Some of West’s lyrics appear to focus on what he believes to be the temptation celebrities face while in relationships. That said, the closest he came to referencing Trump directly on the album is in his rap “All Mine,” when he says, “I could have Naomi Campbell. And still might want me a Stormy Daniels.”
This is, of course, a reference to Trump’s alleged affair years ago, a prominent item in the mainstream media for months now. Based on the context of the rap, though, it doesn’t appear to be a shot at the president but rather a sympathetic take on the situation.
West does seem to defend his support for the president by taking a shot at Def Jam executive Russell Simmons. Back in April when West announced his backing of Trump, Simmons, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, said in an Instagram post that West was having a mental breakdown and needed an intervention. In “Yikes,” West responded to this with, “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too. I’ma pray for him ’cause he got #MeToo’d. Thinkin’ what if that happened to me too.”
Aside from the Simmons dig and the mention of Trump, there’s a quick North Korea reference and support for marijuana in a couple of raps. In “Yikes,” West says, “We could be in North Korea, I could smoke with Wiz Khalifa,” while in “Ghost Town,” he says, “Smokin’ marijuana. Now I’m livin’ high, doin’ what I wanna.”
Even if people don’t agree with every point he makes, West deserves credit for being an independent thinker; and even if he includes some unnecessary vulgarities (as most other rappers do, just for the record), at least he’s being honest and doesn’t care what the rest of Hollywood or the entertainment world thinks of him.
There’s something to be said for that. He refuses to back down from his more right-leaning views —that says something.