Kanye West kicked off the season premiere of “SNL” as musical guest, but it was his off-air comments that had everyone talking.
After his closing performance of “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi, 070 Shake, and Ty Dolla $ign, West delivered a speech in support of President Donald Trump, which was cut from the live broadcast due to time. The comments were captured on social media by audience members including Chris Rock.
Wearing a red Make America Great Again hat and standing in front of “SNL” cast members, he delivered an impromptu monologue after the credits rolled, which received boos from some audience members. “I wanna cry right now. Black man in America, you’re supposed to keep what you feel inside right now,” he said (via People). “And the liberals bully you and tell you what you can and cannot wear, where you and they can’t not stare. And they look at me and say, ‘It’s not fair. How the hell did you get here?’”
He went on to defend Trump against accusations of racism. “It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you like Trump? He’s racist.’ Well, if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don’t just make our decisions off of racism. I’ma break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all they policies.”
He continued, “Actually, blacks weren’t always Democrats. It’s like a plan they did to take the fathers out the home and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That’s the Democratic plan.”
After receiving a few claps, West added, “And what this shows is we can’t be controlled by monolithic thought. You can’t always have when you have a black subject matter like Cosby that you have to have a black comedian talk about it.”
He reiterated his plan to run for president in 2020. “And when I said I’m running in 2020, all my smart friends talked so much s**t about me. And when I saw that man win, I said, ‘See, I told you. I could have been there.’”
When an audience member yelled, “F**k Trump,” West responded, “Now you got a situation where we need to have a dialogue and not a diatribe because if you want something to change, it’s not going to change by saying, ‘F**k that person.’ Try love. Try love. Try love. Try love.”
He also addressed his controversial MAGA hat. “You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me. They bullied me backstage they said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’ma listen to y’all now.
Or I’ma put my Superman cape on, which means you can’t tell me what to do,” he said. “Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love.”
Chris Rock, who recorded the speech for his Instagram Story, seemed to whisper “My God” at one point.
Following the “SNL” airing, some of Kanye’s peers including Questlove spoke out about his appearance. “Like i find it strange he isn’t trending at all, yet we all typing the same thing, but for all that ‘he cancelled’ talk there was an ounce of hope in our souls tonight,” said The Roots drummer. “But all we got was…well…I’m kinda sad man.”
Swizz Beatz also weighed in on Kanye’s Trump support. “I just seen that ‘SNL’ Kanye and I hate you talking about you being bullied for the hat,” he said. “It feels kinda funny ’cause we was just talking about the hat less than 48 hours ago. Teyana Taylor was in the studio, Ferg was in the studio, a bunch of people was in the studio. And I was just addressing how uncomfortable the culture feels with you representing somebody that’s blatantly hurting our people. Ain’t nobody bullying you, we love you. But you gotta stop that shit. That shit ain’t right.”
Despite the comments, Kanye has apparently been invited back to “SNL” by the show’s creator Lorne Michaels, but this time as host.
“had so much fun at SNL. Lorne agreed that I would host before the year is out,” tweeted Ye. “Need to set a date. Gonna be sooooooooo lit. In the words of Lil Pump …Esskeetit !”