(image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30827420@N04/)
If you’re one of the many Americans who were shocked after Hillary Clinton spectacularly lost the presidential election to a mango, you’re not alone. Macklemore was so traumatized he made a song about it, called “Wednesday Morning”. Granted, Macklemore is a friend of President Obama and previously made “American”, a satirical song about a stereotypical uneducated Southern redneck. Unlike “Wednesday Morning”, the song is light-hearted, but it’s the kind of elitist generalization that alienated the working class whites who sent president-elect Trumpkin to the Oval Office. In other words, Macklemore, although he’s still got his white privilege to fall back on, is just as surprised as you are. He’s so surprised that he’s gone all Auto-Tune on us, just like Kanye West did back in 2008. And 2010. And 2013.
OK, now I have an excuse to talk about Kanye. If you usually check your social media pages, you’ve probably heard (or seen a couple of memes) about the outrage surrounding Kanye’s recent public statements. During a concert held on November 17th in San Jose, California, Kanye stopped the show to say that he didn’t vote in the presidential election, but if he had, he would have voted for Donald Trump.
I know what you’re thinking: how did Kanye not vote? Did Pusha T forget to remind him?
Obama: So Kanye wanted to vote Trump?
Biden: That’s what he said
Obama: Well why didn’t he vote?
Biden: Late Registration pic.twitter.com/ebmXOJymZp
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 18, 2016
Kanye struggled to get through his set before launching into his speech ten minutes into the concert, angering the audience with his controversial opinions and also presumably because they just wanted to hear music. People do still pay for concerts, even if they didn’t want to pay for Kanye’s album. But did he really think telling an audience in California that he would have voted Republican was a good idea?
Kanye being a Trump fan doesn’t surprise everyone; during the campaign Trump drew numerous comparisons to Kanye for his outspoken nature. Kanye has gotten into numerous controversies over the course of his career, particularly back in 2005 when he stated, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” live during NBC’s benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and his infamous upstaging of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards – an incident for which President Obama called him a “jackass” and Donald Trump said Kanye was “grandstanding to get attention”. This didn’t sour Kanye or Trump on each other, however; in 2015 when Kanye announced his intention to run for president in 2020, Trump praised Kanye and said “I love him.”Well, he must – they did sleep together once (don’t tell Mike Pence).
But Kanye’s actions during the campaign seemed to point to the opposite. Many Internet peoples have already pointed out that Kanye donated $15,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2014 and $2,700 (the legal limit) to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2015. He even took a selfie with his wife Kim Kardashian-West and the Democratic nominee. Kanye might not have known this, but Trump, who is known for scrutinizing women’s appearances, once called Kim a “fat ass”. To be fair, Kanye once claimed that Trump was “balding”, although until Donald comes across a strong gust of wind we can’t really know for sure.
Even more confusing was Kanye’s defense after his fans expressed their displeasure with his comment, throwing various items at him (including a Yeezy shoe, which he graciously signed and returned to its owner). Kanye proposed that Trump had “inspired racists to reveal themselves” – a fact which can be corroborated with the rising number of hate crimes since Trump was announced as the president-elect. Kanye suggested that this would make racists easier to weed out, while instructing black people to “stop focusing on racism” because no single candidate could have ended racism on her or her own.
I know what you’re thinking: didn’t we figure this out when Obama was elected?
Kanye went on to clarify that, despite supporting Trump, he was still pro-Black Lives Matter, pro-gay marriage and pro-women’s rights. His praise was directed toward the way Trump ran his campaign and expressed his opinions – not because of Trump’s positions on any relevant issues. In fact, on November 19th, in another concert in Sacramento, he went on another tirade, stating that he was on his “Trump shit”.
This speech was even less coherent and more petty than the first, with West arriving an hour and a half late only to perform two songs before walking offstage. Kanye called out longtime friend Beyoncé for supposedly rigging the MTV VMAs earlier this year after her video for “Formation” beat Kanye’s “Famous” for Video of the Year, criticizing her for “playing the politics”. Yes, he did get around to actual politics, claiming that President Obama couldn’t be himself as president in order to satisfy white people, and attacked Hillary Clinton for following the “old model” of her campaign. Then, he got paranoid, deriding the mainstream radio for playing too much Drake (ironically, Kanye wore a VIEWS hat at his San Jose concert), claiming that both Jay-Z and DJ Khaled (DJ Khaled? really?) had “killers” and asked them not to “send them at my head”, and said that radio, Google, and Facebook have been lying to us. Apparently Twitter and Instagram are still safe though; after Kanye left the venue he posed for a video with a Tweeter and then posted 99 photos from an old Maison Margiela catalog to his Instagram account.
When Kayne West ends the show after 3 songs in Sacramento and allows me to take a selfie in the middle of the intersection w/ him. pic.twitter.com/14us9LkcLe
— CioBlueⓂ️ (@PatrickSTAR489) November 20, 2016
To the relief of fans left hanging, the venue did promise to refund tickets to concertgoers. To the relief of fans who had already bought tickets to any of Kanye’s other shows, the remainder of Kanye’s Saint Pablo Tour was cancelled on November 21st and all tickets are being refunded, meaning that Kanye’s madcap week is at an end and he can begin preparing for his presidential bid or just go design video games.
Hold up. As I’m writing this article, Kanye has apparently been hospitalized. Which means that I’m going to have to follow up on this. At some point. Probably.