by Lena Grossman | Tue., Oct. 30, 2018 6:01 PM
Kanye West is taking a new stance on politics.
In late September and into October, the rapper received some backlash from fellow celebrities about his overt pro-Donald Trump views. West spoke highly of President Trump after taping the season premiere of Saturday Night Live and wearing a Make America Great Again hat all over New York. On Oct. 11, West visited the White House and told the president he "saved the Earth. Saved the planet."
Now, the Yeezy designer is taking a step back from political punditry and instead focusing on himself. "My eyes are now wide open and now realize I've been used to spread messages I don't believe in," he announced on Twitter. "I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!"
In yet another tweet, the "Stronger" rapper praised his close-knit family and fans for their unconditional support. "I would like to thank my family, loved ones, and community for supporting my ACTUAL beliefs and my vision for a better world," he wrote.
In a third tweet, West gave a taste of his personal policy views. He said, "I support creating jobs and opportunities for people who need them the most, I support prison reform, I support common-sense gun laws that will make our world safer."
When the cameras stopped rolling after SNL, West gave a long-winded speech that received minimal applause and lots of boos from the audience. "They bully me backstage and say, 'Don't go out there with that hat on.' They bully me backstage," he said about the cast members and his MAGA hat.
He then compared the hat to a "Superman cape" because "this means you can't tell me what to do."
In a Sept. 30 tweet—the day after his SNL performance—West suggested abolishing the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery.
On Oct. 1, West stopped by TMZ for a conversation with Harvey Levin and the two discussed everything from politics to music to mental health. The College Dropout artist also clarified his "abolish" comment. "Abolish was the wrong language. I misspoke by saying abolish. Amend is the right language," he said.
My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!— ye (@kanyewest) October 30, 2018
Not long after the TMZ appearance, West deleted his social media accounts for just under two weeks. The Twitter hiatus ended when he returned to the platform to upload some videos about mind control. "I feel like when people try to tell me what to do, they're touching my brain," he said in his nearly 10-minute video. "If someone tries to tell me what I can do, what I can wear, I feel like they're touching my brain."
He also said in the video, "Imagine cutting your skull open and someone touched your brain. Imagine how that would hurt you. That's how it feels when someone tells me what I can or can't do."
The rapper talked about the subject while visiting Uganda, where he was supposedly finishing his new album Yanhdi. He was initially supposed to release it the night of Saturday Night Live, but later revealed the album wasn't finished.
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A few days after the SNL show and subsequent tweets, sources revealed to E! News how West's wife, Kim Kardashian, feels about his controversial comments and political stance. "She believes Kanye is entitled to his opinion and can express it freely. She may not always agree with him, but she still feels he's allowed to believe what he wants," the insider shared with E! News.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star herself defended her husband's decision to visit the White House. She told E! News at the Tiffany & Co.'s Tiffany Blue Book Collection that she's "proud" of West and his activism. "He has a really focused mission," she said.
"[Kanye] wants to talk about building local factories for his clothes and shoes and getting formerly incarcerated men and women to work at the factories," the KKW Beauty mogul added. "I know that's really important to him."
On Saturday, Kardashian spoke with the CNN show host Van Jones about politics and supporting her husband. She told Jones, "Look, I always say this: It takes him about four years to write a song to communicate what he wants to say. So when he tweets something in two seconds—what's going on in his mind, and what he thinks and what he's trying to say—he might not be the best communicator but he has the best heart and I know what he means."
She continued, "I believe in him, and I believe that his message of what the hat represents to him is maybe different [than] what it represents to other people."
Kardashian also revealed that she offers to help West communicate a bit better. "The people around him let him know that what he said might not be what he means and try to help him work on it," she explained to Jones. "But I know his heart so we are working on expressing that."
In the end, Kardashian knows that unconditional love and a strong marriage guides them. "Anyone who has ever doubted us or me he has always been there to hold my hand and lift me up higher and give me the confidence," she said. "So I'll always do the same for him."
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