It finally happened.
US President Donald Trump welcomed Kanye West to the Oval Office overnight, where the pair discussed “male energy”, Adidas, mental health, hydrogen-powered planes, racism, among many, many other topics before a working lunch on prison reform.
And when we say “discussed”, we really mean the multi-hyphenate rapper unloaded a stream of consciousness speech which rendered Trump almost entirely unable to respond.
“I’ll tell you what, that was pretty impressive,” Trump offered after the monologue.
Footage captured by CNN shows West discuss the ongoing incarceration of Larry Hoover, a Chicago gang leader convicted of murder, extortion, and drug trafficking, who West believes remains behind bars “because he started doing positive for the community.”
Prison reform has been a prominent issue for West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, who has successfully lobbied Trump to act on the case of Alice Marie Johnson in June.
While Kardashian argued Johnson should have had her life sentence commuted because she was imprisoned over her first drug offence, West got more metaphysical. He said he was so passionate about Hoover’s release because he is Hoover in an alternate universe.
“There’s infinite amounts of universe and there’s alternate universes, so it’s very important for me to get Hoover out because in an alternate universe, I am him and I have to go and get him free,” West said.
West, wearing a MAGA cap, said he related to Trump’s presidential campaign on a deeper level than that of opponent Hillary Clinton, partly because it had a stronger “male energy” about it, and that the slogan “I’m With Her” made him feel somewhat alienated.
He went on to call for stronger American investment in the industrial sector, riffing on his success collaborating with Adidas as proof that American input can revitalise a company. Calls to create “Trump factories” followed. The POTUS smiled at that one.
It’s yet to be seen if a “Trump factory” could produce the kind of “iPlane 1” that West proposed to replace Air Force One. “This our president, he has to be the freshest, the flyest, the flyest plane, the best factories,” West said. Trump was open to the idea, saying “we’ll get rid of Air Force One.”
Perhaps the only moment of tension between the two parties, both of whom have accrued insane levels of our attention through their off-the-cuff speeches, came when West brought up stop-and-frisk policies.
Trump defended that controversial police protocol earlier this week, saying officers in Chicago should be allowed to search people on the street with no warrant. West denounced the policy in the meeting, leading Trump to say “I’m open-minded, I’m here.”
The pair then hugged.
It’s a lot. If you feel like spending twenty minutes of your day wondering how we got to this point, go right ahead: