After Kanye West's recent tweet storms, praising Donald Trump one day and Emma Gonzalez the next, many of his fans have been left wondering what exactly the star performer believes.
Interested in Kanye West?Add Kanye West as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Kanye West news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Over the weekend, the 40-year-old rapper called Gonzalez, a leading voice in the movement spawned by the mass shooting at her Florida high school, his "hero." He then posted a photo of himself with a shaved head, which he said was "inspired" by Gonzalez.
inspired by Emma pic.twitter.com/TiZMthLK92— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 29, 2018
Just days before that, West praised the president, whom most would consider on the opposite side of the political spectrum. He called Donald Trump "my brother," and the president responded by thanking the rapper for his words.
"Very cool!" Trump added.
You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
West's comments about Trump caused an uproar on Twitter, with some fans denouncing him and others lamenting that they missed the "Hurricane Katrina Kanye."
The latter was when West shocked the world during a live nationally broadcast telethon when he went off script and said, "George Bush doesn’t care about black people."
If it seems like West has shifted positions between then and now, one thing has remained constant: his refusal to be pigeonholed.
"I haven't done enough research on conservatives to call myself or be called one," he tweeted last week. "I'm just refusing to be enslaved by monolithic thought."
I haven't done enough research on conservatives to call myself or be called one. I'm just refusing to be enslaved by monolithic thought.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 27, 2018
Below is a look back at some of West's political musings, past and present:
On West's debut album, he rapped about his grandfather's being arrested after taking West's mother, Donda, who was 6 at the time, to a whites-only lunch counter in Chicago. "Racism still alive, we just be concealing it," he rapped.
West railed against homophobia in hip hop during a 2005 MTV News interview. "I wanna just come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it fam,'" he said.
Venting the frustration felt by many regarding the government's response to the 2005 hurricane in New Orleans, West blurted out, "George Bush doesn’t care about black people" during a live telethon raising money for relief efforts.
Five years later, after Bush told Matt Lauer that was one of the low points of his presidency, West tweeted, "I can't be everything to everybody anymore. I can't be everybody's hero and villain savior and sinner Christian and anti Christ!"
Kanye for President
At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, West announced he would run for president in 2020 but later told Vanity Fair in an interview, "I hate politics. I'm not a politician at all."
West and Barack Obama have had an uneasy relationship, with the former president reportedly calling the rapper a "jackass" after he interrupted Taylor Swift receiving an award at the "MTV Video Music Awards." In recent days, he seemed to take a swipe at Obama when he tweeted "nothing in Chicago changed" after the president's eight years in office.
Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
He also name-checked Obama in his new song "Ye vs. the People, when he raps, "I know Obama was Heaven-sent/But ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be president."
West first shocked his fans during his 2016 Saint Pablo tour when he said on stage that had he voted in the presidential election, he would have voted for Trump. That December, West and Trump met at Trump Tower in New York City, after which the then president-elect told reporters that they'd been friends "for a long time." Though Trump said that they discussed "life," West maintained that the meeting was about "multicultural issues."
More recently, West tweeted that he was sounding off on Trump so that others could express themselves freely. He added that he loved Hillary Clinton too.
If your friend jumps off the bridge you don't have to do the same. Ye being Ye is a fight for you to be you. For people In my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50 50 split but I don't tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
I love Hillary too.
West lauded conservative commentator Candace Owens, saying he "loves the way" she thinks.
I love the way Candace Owens thinks— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 21, 2018
She quickly repaid the compliment, asking for a meeting with the superstar.
I’m freaking out. @kanyewest ....please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music.— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 21, 2018
I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community. https://t.co/Uz1nB9K0Oz
It appears she got her wish. West was photographed meeting with Owens and her boss, Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA.
West posted a series of tweets about his good friend John Legend, making it clear that even though they may disagree politically, there is still love between them.
West also insisted that he's still "the kid from the telethon."
I really appreciate this dialogue with John Legend because I'm actually very empathetic. Im still the kid from the telethon. I feel when people think of MAGA they don't think of empathy.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 26, 2018