Kanye West's recent behavior has been described as everything from "erratic" and "harmful" to "genius" and "woke." The outspoken rapper has created a stir with his polarizing proclamations about history and politics; the most controversial being his continuous support for Donald Trump.
John Mayer spoke candidly about Ye in Complex's November 2018 cover story alongside Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo. Mayer revealed he sympathizes with Kanye, but cannot wait for the day the rapper finally "taps out."
"Artists have always been inventions, right? We decide, 'Oh, I think I'm gonna be that [...] I think I’m gonna move all of my chips into the idea of this living invention," Mayer explained. "And you can lose yourself in the invention. So I don't even begin to look at this like 'crazy' or off the rails. I don't really have the data to; I don't think anybody really does. But I can tell you for sure that a component of it is being at your own steering wheel for so many years as a creative god and not knowing how to say, 'Well, now I'm a guy.'"
Mayer went on to say he was always impressed by Kanye and even considered him a genius; however, in Kanye's attempt to encourage free-thinking, he found himself in repeated controversies that could've been avoided. The Grammy-winning singer compared Ye's situation to a MMA fight in which the ref refuses to call the fight.
"I cannot wait until the day it would be insensitive to talk about him. I can’t wait," Mayer said. "Please, do us the favor of making it seem a little unsavory and a little tacky to talk about it because you tapped out. Please, tap out. I tapped out. Tap out. You know? Instead, the ref's going, 'I don’t know what to do. He’s still fighting. He’s still punching back.'"
Later in the interview, Mayer and Lorenzo spoke about the dangers of surrounding yourself with "yes men," the idea of "free thinking" vs. "lazy thinking," and how many people have become "Kanye apologists"—those who continue to excuse and/or forgive his behavior because they refuse to give up their allegiance.
"We used to give our respect to people and our admiration to people on a provisional basis, meaning it can be taken away if you behave a certain way," Mayer said. "It’s no secret there's a president that can do no wrong by those who've decided he's their guy. Kanye can do no wrong if you've decided he's your guy. You’ll just change the qualifications because it’s very unpleasant to scrub someone off your list. It’s very unpleasant to say, 'I was wrong' or 'I changed my mind' or 'not anymore.'"
Check out our full cover story with John Mayer and Jerry Lorenzo here.