Kanye West sat down with President Donald Trump at the Oval Office on Thursday. During the exchange, the rapper rattled off what many are calling “bizarre” statements about mental health, Chicago violence and racism that drew criticism from his peers.
West told the controversial leader that wearing the “Make America Great Again” hat made him feel like Superman. The hat has been a source of controversy since Trump unveiled it while campaigning for office in 2016.
Earlier this month, a reporter was fired from an NBC station for wearing the embroidered red cap to a rally, according to Buzzfeed. In July, a fight erupted in a San Antonio bar after a teen was spotted in the cap.
The “Ye vs. The People” rapper feels love can solve these issues, and he added that he views Trump as a “father figure.”
During the meeting, the producer also hit back at Trump naysayers, saying:
“What I need Saturday Night Live and the liberals to improve on is if [Trump] doesn’t look good, then we don’t look good. This is our president.”
Several prominent figures reacted to the encounter on social media, including life coach Iyanla Vanzant and rapper T.I. Many criticized the 41-year-old’s rant and support of the president; others thought the meeting was insignificant in comparison to more pressing matters.
Vanzant went on record to say West does not speak for members of her family. “I pray he does not get choked on his superman cape,” she tweeted.
I want to officially go on the record to say KANYE WEST does NOT SPEAK FOR ME or my son or my 4 grandsons or my great grandson or my father who was refused VA benefits or grandmother who cleaned houses and scrubbed toilets. I pray he does not get choked on his superman cape
— Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) October 11, 2018
T.I., who has become more vocal about social justice, said the meeting was “the most repulsive, disgraceful,
Embarrassing act of desperation & auctioning off of one’s soul to gain power.”
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Now I’ve been extremely patient and made it a point to not jump to any premature conclusions about Ye’& his antics… Partially due to the lessons learned from the outcome of other similar situations dealing wit my brother Wayne (which I admittedly mishandled a bit in hindsight) But now this shit is next level,futuristic Sambo,Hopping Bob, Stephen off Django ass shit Ye!!!! From what I can gather… This is the most repulsive,disgraceful, Embarrassing act of desperation & auctioning off of one’s soul to gain power I’ve ever seen. Now I recall you asking me to come with you to have this meeting and I declined (naturally)… but bro… if ain’time I would’ve been in there wit you and you behaved that spinelessly in my presence,I feel that I’d be compelled to slap de’Fuq outta you bro For the People!!! You ass kissing and boot licking on a whole new level &I refuse to associate myself with something so vile,weak,& inconsiderate to the effect this has on the greater good of ALL OUR PEOPLE!!!! I’m a true believer in “It ain’t what you do,it’s how you do it.” And this shit is regurgitating🤮! At one time it was a pleasure to work alongside you… now, I’m ashamed to have ever been associated with you. To all the people who follow Ye musically,socially, or even personally….who are confused, heartbroken, infuriated…. Let me make this clear… THIS SHIT AINT COOL!!! THIS IS A MOVE YE MADE FOR YE!!! THIS IS A PLAY TO PUT HIM IN A POSITION HE’D LIKE TO SEE HIMSELF IN…WE ARE NOT ON HIS MIND AS HE MAKES THESE COMMENTS AND DECISIONS. Don’t follow this puppet. Because as long as I’ve lived I’ve learned that it benefits a man nothing at all to gain the world,if to do so he must lose his soul. We just saw Mr.West’s Soul on auction. If you listen closely you can hear the tears of our ancestors hit the floor. All I can say is… I’ve reached my limits. This is my stop,I’m officially DONE!!!! 🖕🏽Trump & His Lil Cookie Boy. #USorELSE✊🏽
Comedian Chelsea Handler slammed the conversation, tweeting, “Kanye West says he thinks of Trump as a father. Guess who doesn’t think of Kanye as a son?”
Kanye West says he thinks of Trump as a father. Guess who doesn’t think of Kanye as a son?
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) October 11, 2018
Rap mogul 50 Cent shared a doctored photo of Trump as Superman carrying a MAGA hat-wearing West. “You make me feel like Superman, Obama said l was a idiot f**k these niggas lm wit you Master,” he captioned the image.
The often-vocal ESPN anchor, Stephen A. Smith was left near speechless about the meeting. “Not gonna go OFF…I’m just sad,” he wrote on Twitter.
Watching @CNN, seeing Kanye at the White House this afternoon was some of the saddest stuff I’ve seen in quite sometime. Not gonna go OFF, though. I’m just sad. I’ll leave it to y’all to state the obvious as to why.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 11, 2018
See more reactions to the event below:
As I keep saying, shamelessness is a superpower and Ye has even greater reserves of it than Trump.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 11, 2018
Kanye is in the White House as a PR stunt but he’s the one who’s being used. Trump’s getting faux legitimacy (he gets to tell white people, “How could anyone call me racist when Kanye West loves me?”) What does Kanye get to say? "I’m big enough to get a pointless visit w Trump?"
— Touré (@Toure) October 11, 2018
Kanye saying not having male energy in the home leading to him finding "power" in wearing a #MAGA 👌🏻 is the greatest argument for black folks to stay together that I have ever heard.
Please don't LEAVE. Please NEVER, EVER leave. Make it work. PLEASE!
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) October 11, 2018
If this is where Kanye wants to be, then let him be there. Quit trying to explain Kanye to us. He’s doing a pretty good job of telling us who he is and where he wants to be. Hmmmm is this where the Kardashian’s stand also. Their time time might be up also. Just saying !!! pic.twitter.com/qWXbEn1jIh
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) October 11, 2018
"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS…Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now? … The money's rolling in and this is fun” – Les Moonves on Trump, 2016 pic.twitter.com/MSfe6xjOur
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 11, 2018
at this point, kanye is decidedly uninteresting. there is nothing compelling to discuss. i don't see how the world hasn't gotten bored with this yet.
— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) October 12, 2018
hell on earth https://t.co/C9qccTbpYC
— Chelsea Peretti (@chelseaperetti) October 11, 2018