John Legend went on Hot 97 on Friday morning to clarify his stance on his friend Kanye West's support of Donald Trump. An outspoken critic of Trump, Legend even attempted to reach out to Kanye yesterday to explain why so many are taking issue with Kanye's support for the very unpopular president. Kanye in turn posted the text messages between the two, leaving Legend with no choice but to plug his new single and let it be.
Speaking with Ebro Darden, John tried to rationalize what Kanye sees in Trump. "I think Kanye, when he talks about Trump, he’s thinking about him more as a marketing triumph," Legend said around the 5:15 mark in the video up top. "I think he sees certain aspects of himself in Trump. He sees how brash he is, and that he don't give a fuck, how nobody believed he was gonna win. How he defied all the odds... and became president."
However, Legend sees that a marketing triumph does not a good leader make, since "politics isn't just branding and marketing, it's actual policy and it affects people."
"He's talking about free thought, and Trump doesn't even want a free press," Legend said, before going on to point out even more inconsistencies in Kanye's argument in support of Trump.
"It's not a game. This is people's real life. And if you're operating from love, and you're operating from empathy, and you're looking at what [Trump] is actually doing, and trying to do," Legend said. "I don't see how you align yourself with that and say you're operating yourself from love."
In addition, Legend pointed out the hypocrisy in the wave of support Kanye has been receiving from Trump supporters. The Trump campaign has even already pounced on the situation as a fundraising tool to sell more MAGA hats.
“These MAGA folks are all over his nuts right now, and as soon as he says something about Taylor Swift, these are the same people calling him the n-word, everything they could possibly imagine,” Legend said. “Some of them are the same people that talk shit about his wife and their family because they tend to date black guys. These are the same guys who are now excited that you’re team MAGA—are these the people you really want to be aligned with?”
"The thing that really hurts me is that so many people that love him feel betrayed," Legend added. This is something Legend brought up in his text to Kanye, and Kanye blew it off as a "fear tactic."
"You can still be an independent thinker, but at the end of the day if you're going to vote, you should vote for somebody who reflects your interest, and the interest of people you care about," Legend said.
"We're not all moping around about slavery all the time," Legend said about black people in America today. That black people today focus too much on slavery is a common argument of conservative YouTuber Candice Owens, whom Kanye also praised in an earlier tweet.
"We're at the forefront of the culture making music, making fashion, making all these things that make up America's culture so cool. Black people are responsible for so much of it. We are like the most creative people in America per capita. We contribute so much to American culture and global culture... We are out here creating and making America more fun, more exciting and more interesting. We are going to keep doing that," Legend said.
In other news, Legend also dropped by Angela Yee's Lip Service podcast, where he further explained why Kanye is entitled to his own personal opinions, but should be more careful about what he says publicly.
"That's fine for him to think whatever he wants to think, but every time he makes an utterance or he publishes it, it has impact. Politicians, when they do things it has impact. And when you align yourself with them, that doesn't mean you're endorsing every single thing they stand for, but you're endorsing their agenda," he said. "If Trump's agenda is bringing so much pain to so many people then I don't think that we should be endorsing it."