In a development that surprises no one, Kanye West has apparently scheduled a meeting with the executive-in-chief. According to the New York Times, West will meet with the president on Thursday at the White House, where the two will lunch together. Whether Trump will consider this to be one of his famous “working lunches” remains to be seen. Before sitting down with Trump, the NYT reports that West will meet with the POTUS’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The Times states that the meeting is expected to be focused around job opportunities for former convicts, particularly in his hometown of Chicago.
If anything, Trump has shown a willingness to listen to famous interveners, as evidenced by the time just a few months ago that West’s own wife Kim Kardashian sat down with Trump to discuss the pardoning of Alice Marie Johnson — he promptly granted the 63 year old woman clemency (though not technically a pardon) for a lifetime conviction on drug and money laundering charges.
Kanye West may very well be the only major figure in the music industry that openly and enthusiastically supports the current president, who is vastly unpopular with the left — who so happen to make up the vast majority of the music (and entertainment) industry. To West’s credit, he has not backed down from this lonely perch, continuously voicing full-throated support for the president (though never specifically any of his policies) on social media and whatever other opportunities present themselves.
West recently deleted his social media profiles, perhaps as a reaction to his latest outburst of pro-Trump fervor. While appearing on SNL two weeks ago to perform, supposedly just before the release of his upcoming album Yandhi (which was not released that night and pushed back nearly two months), he went on a rant to close out the show.
While the speech was not aired on live television, the fallout from the event has been fairly huge. SNL cast members have described the situation as akin to being “held hostage” on stage, while outspoken cast member Pete Davidson implored West to get back on medication: “Take ’em! There’s no shame in the medicine game. I’m on them, they’re great,” he said. “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.”
UPDATE (10/11): Today Kanye West followed through and met with President Trump at the White House. To say it was a bizarre event would be a massive understatement. As predicted above, he met with Kanye West and retired NFL great Jim Brown for a discussion that teased as covering topics like urban revitalization, workforce training, the record high in African-American employment (one of Trump’s go-to boasts) and addressing the rise in violent crime in certain parts of Chicago.
It’s uncertain exactly what was discussed during the lunch meeting, as it was off-limits to press and cameras. However, before the meeting West launched into a nearly eight minute monologue, which would more accurately be described as a “diatribe,” in which he called for the release of Larry Hoover, lamented the expectation that black people automatically identify as Democrats, growing up without a male presence in his home and how that (somehow) related to his dislike of Hillary Clinton’s campaign (though he professed that he loves her, like he loves everyone), his own mental health and that Apple should build a special plane for Trump (even bringing out his iPhone to show Trump a GIF). He said that his Make America Great Again hat made him “feel like Superman” and that he felt Trump was on a “hero’s journey.”
All in all, it left Trump speechless. However, later he did have a comment for the speech, saying “I’ll tell you what, that was pretty impressive.”