Kanye West, already famous for his artistic innovation, recently did something unique on the late-night talk show circuit. He didn’t answer a question.
In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the host said, “You so famously and so powerfully said ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ It makes me wonder, what makes you think that Donald Trump does?” In response, West didn’t speak off the top of his head or dive into a prepared anecdote. Instead, as he described on Twitter, he “took time to think.”
Kimmel cut to commercial break in the ensuing silence, and West never finished his thought. Not until Wednesday, when he finally answered the question in a surprise appearance on Chicago’s WGCI 107.5.
On Wednesday, West indeed gave a thoughtful answer, claiming that Trump – driven by ego – doesn’t especially care about black people but instead about what the black community thinks of him.
“I feel that [Trump] cares about the way black people feel about him, and he would like for black people to like him like they did when he was cool in the rap songs and all this,” West said.
“He will do the things that are necessary to make that happen because he’s got an ego like all the rest of us, and he wants to be the greatest president, and he knows that he can’t be the greatest president without the acceptance of the black community. So it’s something he’s gonna work toward, but we’re gonna have to speak to him.”
Throughout his interview with the radio station, West also discussed his TMZ rant in detail.
Around the time that his unusual behaviour began peaking, West disclosed that he has bipolar disorder. The handwritten words “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” adorned the cover of “Ye,” his newest record. In the interview, he discussed how his mental illness played a role in the now-infamous TMZ appearance.
“The thing about being called crazy, the biggest stigma that has to be broken is that you instantly get written off. But you might be the only one who knows what they’re talking about,” West said, adding, “I have never really approached or addressed the slavery comment fully. And it’s not something for me to overly intellectualise.”
“This is something about the fact that it hurt people’s feelings and the way that I presented that piece of information. I could present in a way more calm way, but I was ramped up,” he continued.
Finally, he apologised, not just for his commentary on slavery but for posting a photo to Twitter of an autographed “Make America Great Again” hat.
“I apologise. That happens sometimes when people are – I’m not blaming mental health, but I’m explaining mental health,” West said. “I don’t know if I properly apologised for how the slavery comment made people feel. I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment. And I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through.”
Watch the video below.