Kanye West spoke candidly about the backlash he has received for supporting US President Donald Trump as he compared it to life as a black man before he became famous.
The 42-year-old husband of Kim Kardashian is featured on the cover of the April issue of WSJ Magazine and talked about criticism he has received for wearing infamous red Make America Great Again hat.
Though he told writer Christina Binkley he is not registered to vote and doesn’t follow politics, he said: ‘I’m a black guy with a red [MAGA] hat, can you imagine?’
‘It reminded me of how I felt as a black guy before I was famous, when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something.’
Kanye went on to explain his frustrations with his fans and critics for making assumptions about him due to race, education, and his life as a rapper.
He mimicked his detractors as he said: ‘”This is your place, Ye, don’t talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you’re black, so you’re a Democrat.”‘
West goes on to discuss classism and said that despite his monetary success and high-profile, there are some adverse effects.
He explained: ‘Everything is about putting people in their place. Classism, protectionism—not just racism.
‘Classism is like living on a bookshelf. The more money you have, the higher you go. And you get to the top and look over and what do you see? Fear.’
Kanye famously had a meeting with President Donald Trump at the Oval Office in October of 2018.
During the meeting he went on a 10-minute rant including stating that wearing the MAGA hat ‘made me feel like Superman.’
Before that he made headlines for delivering an impassioned speech in support of Trump during a controversial appearance on the Season 44 premiere of Saturday Night Live while wearing the same headwear.
He also met Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City back in December 2016 while he was president elect.
In addition to being a rapper, producer, fashion designer, and evangelist with his weekly Sunday Service, West has ideas for criminal justice reform.
His family are no strangers to the subject as his wife Kim Kardashian is currently studying law and has even worked with the president in pardoning those unjustly in prison.
She was most famously involved in the case of Alice Marie Johnson, who was freed following 21 years in prison after receiving life for a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
West said he is eager to hire released prisoners for work in apparel manufacturing and has had discussions about building factories in the US.
Earlier this month, Kanye debuted his latest Yeezy designs at the brand’s A/W 20/21 Paris Fashion Week show after a three-year hiatus from fashion runways.
He was joined by his family including wife Kim, daughter North, sister-in-law Kourtney Kardashian, and niece Penelope Disick.
He has high hopes for the brand as told WSJ: ‘I believe that Yeezy is the McDonald’s and the Apple of apparel.
‘In order to make the Apple of apparel the next Gap, it has to be a new invention. To invent something that’s so good that you don’t even get credit for it because it’s the norm.’
West worked at the Gap as a teen.
The entire article was accompanied by stunning black and white photographs shot by Paolo Pellegrin from a gospel service at a small sound stage in Hollywood back in February.
Kanye led an 120-person choir who were all dressed in uniforms designed by him including monk-like robes, gold pendants, and Yeezy sneakers.
Kim could also be seen in a huge down coat as she tapped away on her mobile phone during the service.
The artist believes that his success in music should not limit him to other fields including fashion and evangelicalism.
He said: ‘I got to live out every version of ego — rapper, I had my own [version of] Jordans, I’m married to Kim Kardashian West.’