“That was quite something. That was quite something,” President Donald Trump said to the press following a meeting with rapper and supporter Kanye West on Thursday.
West, 41, touched on a variety of topics in front of the president and members of the media, including why he thinks African-Americans mostly vote Democrat, his own mental health struggles, and prison reform.
West started the meeting by addressing Trump and praising him for his handling of North Korea and the issues surrounding that country.
“On day one you solved one of [Obama’s] biggest troubles. We solved one of the biggest problems,” the rapper said.
West then touched on the backlash he has received within the entertainment industry for his support of the president.
Wearing a Make America Great Again hat, West recalled how he was told not to sport the headgear during a recent “Saturday Night Live” performance.
“They tried to scare me to not wear this hat,” he said.
West then commanded the room and touched on some personal issues, including his struggle with bipolar disorder. He recalled how he was originally misdiagnosed by a doctor as simply being sleep deprived.
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“We can empower the pharmaceuticals and make more money,” he said.
Kanye West also briefly touched on prison reform and violence in Chicago, the two topics that most brought him to the White House. He said love should not be forgotten in the handling of those situations, especially when solutions like the stop-and-frisk program are being discussed.
“I tell you what, that was pretty impressive,” the president said following West’s long-winded talk.
He added, “He can speak for me any time he wants — he’s a smart cookie. He gets it.”
“It was from the soul. I just channeled it,” West said about his talk.
Asked about West’s possible plans to run for president at some point down the line, Trump responded by saying he thinks West “could very well be” a great candidate for the presidency.
“Only after 2024,” Kanye West added.
NFL Hall of Fame inductee and Trump supporter Jim Brown, 82, was also at the White House meeting. Asked by Trump what he thought about the rapper’s words, Brown replied simply, “I’m here to serve.”
Kanye West’s visit to the White House solidifies something that should have already been obvious to most: He is one of the most important cultural voices around right now.
Despite backlash, West has declared his support for the president and dared to be an independent thinker. His speaking out has helped to expose bias within the entertainment industry and the culture as a whole. It’s also been a major step forward for artists in terms of the free expression and exchange of ideas, both liberal and conservative.
If serious steps are taken on issues such as mental health treatment, prison reform, and violence in Chicago and other cities, thanks to the president’s listening to someone like Kanye West, there is really no reason to listen to the rapper’s critics at all.
Only good can come from West’s visit to the White House — and his addressing of serious issues with the president and giving an artist’s perspective. So this rapper should keep speaking his mind without fear of blowback.
By doing so, he is helping to make America great again.
Check out part of West’s time at the White House, in the video below: