Kanye West didn't vote, but 'would've voted on Trump'
'His approach was absolutely genius,' says rapper at California concert
He's a rapper, producer and clothing designer, but Kanye West's true calling is provocateur, with the notoriously inflammatory performer drawing boos from fans last night for mid-concert rants that included declaring his support for U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
The Life of Pablo rapper took breaks during his show in San Jose, Calif., Thursday night to voice his thoughts on a range of topics, including the recent U.S. election, politics, race and the education system.
West said he hadn't voted in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, but that "if I would've voted, I would've voted on Trump" — a declaration that was applauded by some concert-goers, but drew jeers from other members of the audience and sparked a wave of criticism from fans on social media.
"I told y'all I didn't vote... if I would've voted, I would've voted on Trump." - Kanye West <a href="https://twitter.com/ComplexMag">@ComplexMag</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/HipHopDX">@HipHopDX</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/IamAkademiks">@IamAkademiks</a> <a href="https://t.co/Vsh9nR0qNs">pic.twitter.com/Vsh9nR0qNs</a>—@Aries_Nunez
Kanye just said if he had voted (which he didn't) he would've voted Trump. <a href="https://t.co/g2HyFz6KPD">pic.twitter.com/g2HyFz6KPD</a>—@justin_yang
"That don't mean that I don't think that black lives matter. That don't mean that ... I don't believe in women's rights. That don't mean I don't believe in gay men. That don't mean I don't believe in these things because that is the guy I would've voted for," he continued.
West praised for Trump, whom he described as "real," for his brash style of delivery.
"There's nonpolitical methods to speaking that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. And that style, and that method of communication, has proven that it can beat a politically correct way of communication," he said during one interlude.
"I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius."
Later in the show, he rapped about "building a wall."
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'Stop focusing on racism'
West, who took a moment during the show to reiterate his own plans to run for president in 2020, also directed a message "specifically to black people: stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, OK? Let's stop being distracted ... we are in a racist country, period," he said.
"If people are racist and they feel more inspired to say how they feel, then they're exposing themselves, bro. This is what I'm saying. It's already the beginning of change. Sometimes things that you might think are bad need to happen, in order for change to f--king happen. Sometimes you might have to not get your way to really understand what to do in the future, to be able to get your way."
"To black people, stop focusing on racism. We live in a racist country -- that is a fact." - <a href="https://twitter.com/kanyewest">@kanyewest</a> <a href="https://t.co/utmV9a99LJ">pic.twitter.com/utmV9a99LJ</a>—@albertoreyes
West's fiery comments riled up many fans, some of whom declared it was the last straw.
I miss the old Kanye. <a href="https://t.co/8bQNScmnm0">pic.twitter.com/8bQNScmnm0</a>—@ronaldrios
"I would've voted for Trump" - Kanye West. <br>Kanye, if you thought Bush didn't care about black people, boy howdy, do I have news for you.—@razzledazzlekal
As a committed fan of Kanye West for more than 10 years... I can truly say the Kanye I admired years ago is no longer this years Kanye.—@ScottieBeam
You think black people haven't wanted to stop talking about racism for the last 300 years? <a href="https://twitter.com/kanyewest">@kanyewest</a>—@stopbeingfamous
Jay Z and Beyonce: "Yup, this is why we don't hang with his crazy a**" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kanye?src=hash">#Kanye</a> <a href="https://t.co/3WHYltjwnN">pic.twitter.com/3WHYltjwnN</a>—@OneStyleataTime
Incidentally, West's wife — reality TV personality Kim Kardashian — had publicly endorsed Trump's rival Hillary Clinton and the couple posed for a selfie with the Democratic candidate in 2015.