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.”
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 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.
— bomani (@bomani_jones) October 12, 2018
hell on earth https://t.co/C9qccTbpYC
— Chelsea Peretti (@chelseaperetti) October 11, 2018
What's Your Reaction?
Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.