Something totally unthinkable happened on national television last night: Kanye West was stunned into silence. Even more unthinkable? The person doing said stunning was Jimmy Kimmel, and he did it by presenting the famously loquacious rapper with his very own quote. (So I guess, technically, Ye stunned himself into silence?) The moment took place Thursday night during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, when Kimmel broached the subject of Kanye’s brother in “dragon energy,” Donald Trump. After deflecting Kimmel’s soft-ball questions about the president with some nice one-liners (“I’m into designing,” when he was asked if the new Space Force uniforms would be Yeezy-branded; “Well, he is a player,” when asked if he was worried about Kim Kardashian being alone with Trump in the Oval Office), Kanye launched into one of his signature monologues when Kimmel asked him if he thought Trump was a good president.
You know, it’s funny. In this world that we live in, there’s two main motivating forces. And I tweet about it all the time. It’s love or fear. And you can’t explain love. You know, my cousin is locked up for murder, and I love him. So he did a bad thing but I still love him. And just as a musician, an African-American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things, you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me. And then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud. Or my career would be over. I’d get kicked out of the black community because blacks are supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats and all. So, even when I said it right before I went to the hospital, and I expressed myself, and when I came out, I had lost my confidence, so I didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash. It took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat, no matter what the consequences were. And what it represented to me was not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that, but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anyone said, and saying, ‘You can’t bully me. Liberals can’t bully me, the news can’t bully me, the hip-hop community can’t bully me, they can’t bully me.’ At that point, if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer Ye. That’s what makes Ye. And I quite enjoy when people actually are mad at me about certain things—I actually quite enjoy it.
Right or wrong, or even if I changed my mind about it or thought about it more, which I’m not saying I did, just place the thought out there that everyone’s not thinking sometimes. Galileo, they wanted to chop his head off for saying that the earth was—what did he say? That the sun revolved around the earth, and vice versa. So when you have modern—
Again, Kimmel tried to interrupt by clarifying which celestial body revolves around which, to which Ye responded, “I’m not concerned about the specifics, sir.” West then began another monologue that touched on everything from how schools should offer “future class” instead of “history class,” to how we’re all in a simulation (“I know you guys wanted to clap, but everything I’m going to say is going to be amazing”), to some unauthorized Shakespeare retelling (“We’re all unpaid actors in some giant script that we didn’t write”), to how he’s “going on TV because it’s awesome,” to a shout-out to Sarah Jessica Parker.
One of the things that I think got missed on TMZ is that the main thing that I was stressing was the idea of trying love. You know, we’re always pushing out so much hate. And love can cure so much. Just to think, am I moving in love? Is this out of love? Not out of pride, pride is a word that people often say in a positive connotation, but it’s actually one of the seven deadly sins. And it takes too much ownership. You can replace pride with love. And when I see people just even go at the president, it’s like why not try love? For one person to stand up against all odds and just hug somebody, the way that Alice [Marie] Johnson hugged her family when she got out of jail. That one by one by one, we can defuse this nuclear bomb of hate that we’re in as a society by thinking of everyone as our family, and how would we treat our kids?
Kimmel interrupted a third time, and this time he succeeded. “I think that’s a beautiful thought, but just in literal terms, there are families being torn apart at the border of this country,” he said. “There are literally families being torn apart as a result of what this president is doing. And I think that we can’t forget that, whether we like his personality or not, his actions are really what matter. I mean, you, so famously and so powerfully, said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ It makes me wonder what makes you think that Donald Trump does, or any people at all?”
To which West sat in extremely awkward silence, saved by Kimmel cutting to commercial.
But at least he had plenty to say when asked about his porn preferences.