Kanye West got candid about the death of Kobe Bryant, voting for Donald Trump’s re-election, architecture, fashion, music, religion and more in a new cover story for GQ magazine's May 2020 issue.
The interview included West’s political views, namely that he plans to vote for Trump, in part because the real estate market is “better now than when Obama was in office.”
GQ: So this is an election year, and I’m curious how your faith plays into your thoughts on politics. To go back to when you put on the MAGA hat, how do you see that moment from where we are now, sitting on this plane, in January of 2020?
Kanye West: Both my parents were freedom fighters, and they used to drink from fountains they were told they couldn’t drink from, and they used to sit in restaurants where they were told they couldn’t eat from. They didn’t fight for me to be told by white people which white person I can vote on. [laughs]
GQ: A lot of the reaction to you wearing the hat was “How could the guy who gave us the gift of ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people’ now do this?”
KW: Black people are controlled by emotions through the media. The media puts musicians, artists, celebrities, actors in a position to be the face of the race, that really don’t have any power and really are just working for white people. When it’s said like that, it’s kind of obvious, right? We emotionally connect to someone of our color on TV and feel that this person is speaking for us. So let me say this: I am the founder of a $4 billion organization, one of the most Google-searched brands on the planet, and I will not be told who I’m gonna vote on because of my color.
GQ: What was at odds to me about you wearing the hat is that “Make America Great Again” is about looking back. Whereas, to me, you are a perpetual forward thinker.
KW: I buy real estate. It’s better now than when Obama was in office. They don’t teach you in school about buying property. They teach you how to become somebody’s property.
GQ: For the election ahead, do you plan to speak more about it, or are your interests elsewhere?
KW: No, I’m definitely voting this time. And we know who I’m voting on. And I’m not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over. Because guess what: I’m still here! Jesus Is King was No. 1! I was told my career would end if I wasn’t with her. What kind of campaign is that, anyway? That’s like if Obama’s campaign was “I’m with black.” What’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t have an opinion? Everybody make their own opinion! You know?
The 42-year-old father of four discussed a bunch of topics with ‘GQ’ magazine.
For the May issue, Will Welch spent three months across three countries talking to Ye about the Yeezy campus he's developing in Wyoming, his next album, his “altered ego,” and his renewed faith in God.