Kanye West said he “can’t explain love” when asked about his support for Donald Trump in a wild interview that aired last night.
The response was part of a long tangent by West, who ultimately did not give a definitive answer to a question by TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who asked whether he thought Trump was “a good president.”
When asked about Trump’s capabilities as president on Thursday night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, the rapper instead riffed on the concept of love, explaining that it “took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat, no matter what the consequences were.”
West posted a photo of himself wearing the Trump campaign’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat this April, upsetting fans and leading artists including Chance the Rapper to distance themselves from West.
Here’s the relevant exchange between Kimmel and West:
Jimmy Kimmel: Some people were very happy when you said you liked President Trump. Do you like — do you think he is a good president?
Kanye West: Well, you know, it’s funny, you know, in this world that we live in, there’s two main motivating forces, and I tweet about it all the time. It’s love or fear. You can’t explain love. My cousin is locked up for murder, and I love him. He did a bad thing but I still love him.
Just as a musician, African-American, guy in Hollywood… All these different things, you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me and then told me that every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over, I’d get kicked out the black community because we’re supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats and all — so even when I said it right before I went to the hospital and I expressed myself, and when I came out I had lost my confidence.
I didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and possible backlash, and it took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat, no matter what the consequences were.
And what it represented to me is that about policies — and I’m not a politician — it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what you said, you can’t bully me.
Liberals can’t bully me, news can’t bully me, the hip hop community can’t bully me, because at that point if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer Ye. That’s what makes Ye. And I actually quite enjoy when people are actually mad at me about certain things.
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
West was hospitalized for exhaustion in November 2016, days after saying he “would have voted” for Trump, if he had voted at all, at a show in San Jose. That announcement was met with boos and a few claps from the audience.
He also landed in hot water this May when he said slavery “sounds like a choice.” It prompted TMZ host Van Lathan to say he was “unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.”
West said in a song that he told his wife, Kim Kardashian West, that she could leave him after the slavery comments, but she decided not to.
On Thursday, he also suggested that he could design the uniforms for Trump’s newly-announced Space Force (“I’m into designing”), and told Kimmel that Trump “is a player” when asked if he was ever concerned about his wife being alone in the Oval Office with Trump while discussing the release of Alice Marie Johnson from prison earlier this year.
But when Kimmel referred to Trump’s family separation policies and asked if West thought Trump cared about “any people at all,” the rapper crossed his arms and said nothing, leaving Kimmel to announce the end of the segment.
Watch the full clip here: