Kanye West is standing his ground against pleas from his former allies to reconsider his support of President Donald Trump, and slammed musician John Legend for attempting to manipulate him.
On Thursday, Legend posted a series of tweets opining on the artist’s responsibility to stay mindful of his politics. To Legend and many others in the “woke” quarter, the personal is political—and Kanye’s willingness to go against the grain is cause for anger, sadness, and confusion.
Legend has previously ripped into Trump as a “corrupt,” “terrible president.” “He’s manifestly unqualified, not curious, not good at legislating or really anything the job requires,” wrote Legend in 2017. “He doesn’t have any depth about any subject. And he’s also using the office of the presidency as a way to make money for himself with his businesses, so he’s corrupt. I can’t say anything nice about the guy, I think he’s one of the worst people I’ve ever encountered in public life.”
Following Legend’s tweets, the musician sent a direct message to Kanye, beseeching him to renounce his support of President Trump.
“I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” wrote Legend. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for. As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion.”
“So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color,” added Legend in his attempt to appeal to Kanye’s emotions and ego. “Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”
Kanye issued a slamming rebuttal to Legend and posted the exchange on Twitter for his 28 million followers.
“I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts,” replied Kanye. “You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
I really appreciate this dialogue with John Legend because I’m actually very empathetic. Im still the kid from the telethon. I feel when people think of MAGA they don’t think of empathy.
The usually verbose Legend did not respond.
John Legend has always been outspoken in his opposition to Trump, yet not once did Kanye ever think to give him unsolicited “advice” admonishing his views. Why can’t Legend afford him the same courtesy?
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