Hurricane Katrina Controversy – Sept. 2005
During a televised NBC benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West seemed to have gone off-script and made the broadcast an opportunity to call out former GOP president George W. Bush. West was supposed to present the damage done by the 2005 hurricane alongside “Shrek” and “Austin Powers” actor Mike Myers. After Meyers pointed out the most damaged locations, the rapper unexpectedly states “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” leaving Myers confused and prompting an abrupt cut to the benefit’s next segment.
Kanye West vs. Michelle Obama Oct. 2013
Kanye West, trying to prove that his celebrity wife belonged to the front cover of Vogue, challenged the former first family’s fashion sense and true influence. The Chicago rapper took to “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” to criticize Michelle Obama and her previous Vogue cover page. “No one is looking at what [the president] is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [sexy swimsuit] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day,” West said on air.
Controversial Yeezus Tour Merchandise – Jun. 2015
Since 2008, Kanye West has been diving more and more into the fashion industry with his own Adidas shoe line and a collection of earth-toned vetements. However, West turned heads with his controversial bomber jacket and other tour merchandise displaying Confederate flags ahead of his 2013 Yeezus tour. “The Confederate flag represented slavery in a way,” Kanye West said in an AMP 7.1 interview. “So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now.”
“Famous” Music Video – Jun. 2016
Leading up to the 2016 presidential campaign, West’s political leanings seemed unclear. However in June 2016, the rapper featured a fully naked Donald Trump in his music video for “Famous.” Though the NSFW video garnered reactions from Kanye fans and haters, the soon-to-be president-elect did not respond to West’s bear-all work.
“I would have voted for Trump” – Nov. 2016
Nearly 11 years later, the rapper turned his views towards the GOP expressing his support for Donald Trump during a San Jose concert. Leading up to the 2016 election, the rapper’s political leaning have been unknown. However, during a 24-minute interlude at the San Jose stop on the Saint Pablo Tour, West expressed his preference towards Donald Trump. He said that he didn’t cast a ballot in the election but would have voted for Trump if he did. “He wasn’t even in politics and he won,” he said. “That shows you the level of possibility that’s out there.”His spiel was met with a mix of screams and boos. West said Donald Trump’s lack of political experience would be similar to his when he plans to run for president in 2024.
Kanye at Trump Towers – Dec. 2016
Not too long after Donald Trump won the presidential election, West met with the new president-elect at the Trump Tower in New York. “We’ve been friends for a long time,” the president told the press. West stood next to President Donald Trump in silence only stating, “I just want to take a picture right now.”
A Trump-signed ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat – April 2018
Nearly five months after his appearance at the gilded Trump Tower, Kanye West took to Twitter to boast his Donald Trump-signed “Make America Great Again” hat. The series of now-deleted photos followed a tweet of West explaining that he does not “agree with everything Trump does.” The rapper’s twitter followers joke about West being in dreaded sunken place, referring to Jordan Peele’s horror film “Get Out.”
TMZ Studio Visit – May 2018
In addition to previous pro-Trump statements and controversial statements, Kanye WEst stated that hundreds of years of slavery was a choice. The shocking statement took place during an in-studio interview with TMZ’s Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaeudiere. After stating the provocative opinion, another TMZ employee voiced out his concerns towards the slave-blaming statement.
SNL, pro-Trump rant – Sept. 2018
After three musical numbers on the SNL stage, Kanye West donned his red MAGA hat and expressed his support for President Trump and critiqued news publications of propagating a “Democratic Plan.” Following the unexpected close to the show’s season premiere, comedian Kenan Thompson said, “I don’t know if that’s the moment necessarily to hold people hostage like that.”
MAGA and Abolishing the 13th – Sept. 2018
Once again, West took to the Twitter-sphere to vocalize his views on the political climate. IN september West tweeted, “We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment,” attached with a photo of him in a MAGA hat. Though the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States, Kanye sent this message “with love.”
A ‘MAGA’ Hat for a Cape – Oct. 2018
After nearly two years of indirect contact, Kanye West met with 45 for lunch in the Oval Office. Though the two were set to discuss prison reform, West told President Trump that wearing his Make America Great Again made him “feel like Superman.” “You made a superman cape for me,” the rapper said.
Blexit Design – Oct. 2018
Over the weekend, Kanye West debuted a T-shirt design for the “Blexit” movement. Mixing “black” and “exit,” the Candace Owens-originated campaign urges the African Americna community to rethink their support of the Democratic party. West’s designs of an X-shaped stick figure are printed on campaign shirts and hats.