The great celebrity war of 2018 is starting, and naturally Kanye West is at the centre of it.
You’ve no doubt heard that overnight, he’s come out and fully endorsed Donald Trump (again). He’s got the MAGA hat and everything. It’s signed.
my MAGA hat is signed ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/DrDHJybS8V— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Wading through the Kanye mess is exhausting in and of itself. The man has been a Trump fan since at least the 2016 election, and has always been a free thinker. But given the absolute chaos that has defined the Trump presidency so far – with marginalised people bearing the brunt of that chaos – it’s intensely disappointing for some that Kanye has emerged as the new poster boy for the alt-right.
Here’s the fallout so far: Teyana Taylor, Travis Scott, Cyhi The Prynce, Pusa T and 2 Chainz all unfollowed him today, according to Does Follow. So did Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
Trump doesn’t follow him, but it looks like he never did. (Clock the date at the bottom – since before January 27, 2016.)
And as for his own family – Kylie, Khloé and Kourtney all unfollowed him today. Kendall doesn’t follow him, but it looks like she never did. And Kris, being the lil drama mogul that she is, only just started following him today.
Shortly after Kayne came out as a full-on MAGA fangirl, Jaden Smith tweeted “false idols”, which is probably as close as we’re going to get to a denouncement from him.
False Idols— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) April 25, 2018
Other celebs aren’t being quite so subtle. John Legend sent out a number of tweets pointing out that racism is still alive and well in the United States, and that to suggest otherwise – or to support a racist president – is to ignore reality.
I imagine there's some comfort in imagining a future without racism and projecting that onto the present. Thinking if we just deny the truth, it doesn't exist. If history is erased, we don't have to deal with its consequences. However…— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 25, 2018
Far too many people don't have the luxury of closing their eyes and ears. They feel it in their lives and can't act like what they see and know doesn't exist.— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 25, 2018
They know their family was destroyed by deportation or incarceration. They know their loved one was denied safe harbor because of their religion. They know their son or daughter was shot because their skin color evoked fear— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 25, 2018
They see the statistics about black applications for real estate or loans or employment being turned away because their name was Jamal and not James— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 25, 2018
I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can't be blind to the truth.— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 25, 2018
Janelle Monáe, on the press tour for her visual album Dirty Computer, called Kanye’s rampant Trump thirst in his most recent tweets “bullshit”.
“I believe in free thinking, but I don’t believe in free thinking at the expense of the oppressed,” she told a US radio station. “If your free thinking is used as fuel by oppressors to continue to oppress black people or minorities, I think it’s bullshit and it’s not okay.”
Quote me https://t.co/vaCYun2Dwv— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) April 25, 2018
Janelle Monáe said everything that needed to be said regarding Kanye’s views pic.twitter.com/1yXEPJcnVb— Chris (@chrstnavelli) April 25, 2018
Jordan Peele – who also unfollowed Trump today – joked that Kanye’s most tweets about being “out of the sunken place” inspired him to start writing Get Out 2. At least, we assume he’s joking. If he’s not, then that will be the absolute best thing to come out of today.
do this look like the sunken place ???? pic.twitter.com/ixzKnaaaSy— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
more tweets from the sunken place ???? pic.twitter.com/nJQdQ2aVKn— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
And also I'm all the way out the sunken place. And I'm not scared anymore. I'm not scared of the media. I'm not scared of the past and I'm optimistic about the future. This tweet is in love not fear.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
*Gets inspired— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 25, 2018
*Starts writing ‘Get Out 2’ https://t.co/zqOW6Xxx9v
Hilariously, the official Adidas account also unfollowed Kanye today, after he name-dropped the company somewhere in the tweet storm.
the Yeezy 700 is adidas most requested shoe— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
adidas have been great partners and they've let Yeezy be Yeezy. This could've never happened at Nike— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
For what it’s worth, reports that Kanye “dropped 10 million followers after his tweets” are false, with Kanye’s follower count in fluctuation since he restarted Twitter. According to the TeamKanyeDaily fan account, “Anytime you check his page and refresh a numbers, change happens”, and Twitter has confirmed to Uproxx that Ye still has about 27 million followers.
He lost 9 million followers in 8 minutes lmao wow pic.twitter.com/AuN5mEknE5— mark del figgalo (@beyonye) April 25, 2018
One person who is defending Kanye is fellow Chicago native Chance the Rapper. Kanye’s tweets prompted more than a few conversations around the state of his mental health, to which Chance said he was “in a great space” and the “same Ye from the VMAs”, when he infamously clutched the microphone from Taylor Swift‘s shooketh fingers.
Talked to him two days ago. He’s in a great space and not affected by folk tryna question his mental or physical health. Same Ye from the Vmas, same Ye from the telethon. https://t.co/2zY3KpllV2— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 25, 2018
Black people don’t have to be democrats.— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 25, 2018
Next President gon be independent— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 25, 2018
Then you have Kim Kardashian West, who at some point already chided Kanye privately and told him to tell everyone that he doesn’t support Trump “100%”.
my wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don't agree with everything Trump does. I don't agree 100% with anyone but myself.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
She took aim at media speculation that Kanye was suffering from mental ill health, as well as firming up the fact that Kanye’s pro-Trump views weren’t shared by the rest of the family.
To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this… your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
Yesterday it was announced that Kanye had parted ways with some business people and media outlets made this about Kanye’s mental health. Rather than just a simple business decision. So I’m glad he tweeted about the state of his company and all of the exciting things happening— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
He’s a free thinker, is that not allowed in America? Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card? That’s just not fair. He’s actually out of the sunken place when he’s being himself which is very expressive— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
Now when he spoke out about Trump… Most people (including myself) have very different feelings & opinions about this. But this is HIS opinion. I believe in people being able to have their own opinions,even if really different from mine— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
He never said he agrees with his politics
Kanye will never run in the race of popular opinion and we know that and that’s why I love him and respect him and in a few years when someone else says the same exact thing but they aren’t labeled the way he is and you will all praise them! Kanye is years ahead of his time— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
Mental Health is no joke and the media needs to stop spitting that out so casually. Bottom line— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
She also slipped in this joke to Kanye’s “sunken place” tweets from their home, which will become very important in a minute.
Ummm babe. We had a rule to not show our home on social media! Soooo can we now allow KUWTK filming in the home? ???????? https://t.co/bUMAn29K5K— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2018
People reported on the tweets as Kanye sharing pics from inside their rarely seen $20 million home.
And Kris Jenner, god love her, had this to say on the whole situation.
WOW wrong again!!!!! Their house is $60 MIL https://t.co/sIDG3FbSoP— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) April 25, 2018
Setting the poor people straight, Kris. As you were.