Billionaire fashion mogul and Grammy-winning rap artist Ye, formally known as Kanye West, called out former friend and long-time collaborator John Legend, referring to him as a “sellout” to the Democratic Party for whom he blindly stumped for during the 2020 election cycle.
“Both John Legend and Big Sean, when I ran for office, got used quick by the Democrats to come at a boy that actually changed their life,” Ye noted some 90 minutes into an interview with rapper Noreaga and DJ EFN during their “Drink Camps” podcast.
Warning: Strong, racial language:
Kanye West said the worst thing he ever did was sign Big Sean and he no longer rocking with him or John Legend for switching up when he ran for office. pic.twitter.com/MN7Bt5ZzTw
— Rap Alert (@rapalert4) November 5, 2021
The divide between Legend and Ye became public in 2018 after the latter published messages sent in private in which the fashion-rap mogul told Legend he was not going to back off his support for then-President Donald Trump.
“I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” Legend wrote to Ye. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for.
“As you know, what you say really means something to your fans…So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color,” Legend claimed.
During his term, Trump signed legislation increasing funding for historically black colleges and proposed a $500 billion “Platinum Plan” in September 2020 that called for major investments in black communities, while adding lynching to the list of federal hate crimes and making Juneteenth a national holiday.
“I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts,” Ye responded. “You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
“The mob” cannot make him “not love” Trump, whom he went on to say that he doesn’t “agree with everything” on, Ye continued. Nevertheless, he insisted he has a “right to independent thought.”
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.
— ye (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
That led Legend to reply: “Think freely. Think with empathy and context too. Your words and actions have consequences. Much love. And since you’re posting texts, let me add that I have a new single out haha.”
“I have learned that the left would like their slaves back,” conservative author and podcaster Candace Owens went on to observe. “They created a system where black people are ideological slaves.”
Legend would go on to stump for then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, then-Sen. Kamala Harris, noting, falsely, during an event the night before the election that it was about “a country where the president encourages police brutality and cannot bring himself to condemn white supremacists or neo-Nazis, or one where we hold our police accountable and begin to root out the systemic racism in our society.”
.@JohnLegend: We'll choose "a country where The President encourages police brutality and cannot bring himself to condemn white supremacists or neo-Nazis, or one where we hold our police accountable and begin to root out the systemic racism in our society." pic.twitter.com/yKfpfSUDCm
— The Hill (@thehill) November 3, 2020
Trump never openly supported police brutality but did call often for “law and order,” especially during frequent episodes of violence and rioting that took place throughout the summer and fall of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police. The former president also frequently rejected white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Ye also took a swipe at abortion and reaffirmed his support for Trump saying: “I’ve still got a red hat on today, I’ll let y’all know that,” he said. “I might not got it on [at the moment] but I’ll let y’all know where I stand.”
Later in his interview with Drink Camps, Ye observed regarding Legend’s comments: “Where’s God in this conversation? I’m saying where who do you work for because if you don’t work for God, then you’re working for the devil.”
“I’m a man of God. God got me covered and as long as I’m alive, God’s not finished,” he said.
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