To say that Kanye West courts controversy is, at this point, a dire understatement. Kanye does not simply court controversy; Kanye buys a dozen red roses for controversy, takes it to dinner, and proposes marriage to it. He is in a very committed relationship with controversy. And nowhere does that become clearer than during his now notorious onstage speeches. He had a lot to say last night throughout a fitful, stop-start show in San José, California, where his most bombastic soundbite of the evening went like this: "If I would have voted, I would've voted on Trump."
But because this is Kanye, a man whose brain races at approximately sixteen times the speed of other humans', there's slightly more to it than simply blinking in disbelief, saying "welp, guess he's a Republican now!" and moving on. Politics were clearly at the forefront of Kanye's mind last night, as he repeatedly cut songs short to make various statements about his feelings on Hillary, Trump, and his own 2020 Presidential run. Twitter user @RaptorJesuss (otherwise known as the savior of music news writers everywhere this morning) livetweeted the show, and from his observations, it seems as though Kanye's comments about Trump, however confusing, came as part of a wider identification with the President-elect's "anti-PC" style, and his belief that Trump's candidacy "inspired racists to reveal themselves".
The speech also saw Kanye calling out the media (in particular the internet echo-chamber which led voters to believe that Hillary Clinton would win the election), as well as re-affirming his intentions to be "a different type of President" should he run and win in four years' time. Kanye speeches are not the simplest to decode, and this one in particular will no doubt perplex and anger some fans—any endorsement of Trump's victory, no matter how intellectual or abstract it is, still feels like a co-sign of the xenophobia, homophobia, racism, hate and lies that fueled it. I guess at least one thing is for sure: the Kanye 2020 train seems to be very much leaving the station. Yeezys for all.