While the world recovers from whatever it was that transpired at the White House on Thursday, Kanye West’s friend Dave Chappelle has offered a little insight into his longtime friend’s controversial support of Donald Trump.
In a preview of the comedian’s upcoming interview with CNN’s Van Jones, which was actually conducted prior to the White House debacle, Chappelle was asked what he thought about the MAGA-hat-wearing rapper’s recent comments attacking the Democratic Party. In his answer, Chappelle was very careful to express his general support for West but made it clear that the rapper “shouldn’t say all that s***” supporting Trump.
After initially pretending to walk out of the interview when he was asked about West, Chappelle replied, “First of all, you know, Kanye’s the artist, man. And he’s a genius,” a term often used — including by Trump — to describe the recording artist, though it’s obviously debatable.
He continued: “I think the angle he’s seeing things from is about the division that he sees. And he’s not inconsistent with what he’s saying,” Chapelle said, citing a comment West made in 2013 about reappropriating the Confederate flag and linking that to West wearing a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat.
While Chappelle thinks that his friend has good intentions, he clearly seems to feel that he’s veered off course. “I’m not mad at Kanye. That’s my brother. I love him, I support him,” Chappelle said. “But, you know, I don’t have to agree with everything that he says. I just trust him as a person of intent. But yeah, he shouldn’t say all that s***.”
Chappelle went on to say he worries about how people will get along after Trump leaves office. “The thing that’s scary about this presidency is after it,” Chapelle added. “I don’t know if you’ve been married before or had a girlfriend and said something in a fight that was so wrong. And then after that, we’re still family, we’re still around each other. But man, I sure did say all that s***, didn’t I?”
Of course, Chappelle’s own opinions of Trump have evolved. When he hosted Saturday Night Live in 2016, soon after the election, he urged watchers to give the Apprentice star a chance in office. A few months later, after the Muslim travel ban and a few other Trump disasters, Chappelle changed his tune, saying, “I f***ed up.”
On Thursday, West put on quite a show in the Oval Office in front of the president and reporters. While there were more than a few things that could have demanded the president’s attention, he let West go on (and on) to rant on a range of topics, including how his MAGA hat made him feel like a superhero, the “flyest cars,” how school is boring, and how time doesn’t exist.
West and Chappelle’s friendship dates back to Mr. Kim Kardashian’s first televised performance on Chappelle’s Comedy Central show in 2004. He later talked to Jimmy Fallon about the first time he met West, saying, “You know Kanye. You could just tell that he was going to be a star. I didn’t know him until he did the show. My friend was telling me ‘You gotta book this guy Kanye.’ I said OK, I booked the guy, and it was like Muhammad Ali in Olympic Village. He just knew he was going to get the gold.”
West likes Chappelle so much that he once took off his Yeezys and gave them to the funnyman on the spot, a moment captured by Kardashian, and one that makes us think West may take Chappelle’s opinion seriously. On the other hand, West seems to take only himself seriously. Maybe too seriously.
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