Kanye West

When asked about rapper Kanye West’s unabashed pro-Trump tweets during an interview on Hot 97, singer and actress Janelle Monáe gave the perfect response.

West made waves on social media Wednesday for a series of tweets praising President Trump, calling him his “brother” and saying are both “dragon energy.” He added that he has the right to “independent thought.” In another tweet, he said “free thinkers” don’t “fear retaliation” for their thoughts, and said “traditional thinkers” were in a “mental prison.” Kanye West appeared to go all in for Trump later on Wednesday with a tweet showing a red Make America Great Again hat sporting President Trump’s autograph. That tweet was retweeted by the president, who simply wrote, “MAGA!”

When Hot 97 host Ebro Darden explained some of West’s recent statements in which the rapper appeared to piggyback on the comments of conservative media personality Candace Owens — who told a group of Black Lives Matter activists that they needed to get over slavery and Jim Crow — later tweeting that “self-victimization is a disease,” Monáe flatly disagreed with Kanye West’s perspective.

“I believe in free thinking,” Monáe said. “But I don’t believe in free thinking if it’s rooted in, or at the expense of the oppressed. If your free thinking is used as fuel by oppressors to continue to oppress black people, minorities, I think it’s bullshit and it’s not okay.”

Despite his recent pro-Trump tweets, Kanye West’s endorsement of the president isn’t exactly an ideological about-face for the rapper and producer, who did a photo-op with Trump at Trump Tower in New York when he was still president-elect. However, the demographics of West’s fanbase are likely to change drastically, given Trump’s long history of racism dating back to when he was merely a flashy real estate developer in New York, and given many rappers, like Eminem, using their platforms to criticize Trump.

Fellow Chicago rappers Common and Lupe Fiasco both tweeted anti-Trump sentiments from their official accounts after Kanye West’s pro-Trump tweets. While Common tweeted the hashtag #NoMuslimBanEver 16 times, Fiasco encouraged his 1.4 million fans to take their frustrations to the polls.

“Don’t forget to vote this November in the midterms!” Fiasco tweeted. “#AllRepublicanCandidates must pay for Trump’s sins!”

Following his interview with Janelle Monáe, Ebro Darden took to his own Twitter account to offer his own thoughts on the Kanye West/Trump controversy, hinting that West was a subpar lyricist and rapper and resorted to openly supporting President Trump as a means of staking out a niche for himself in the rap world.

 

Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.

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