Kanye Gets Political on SNL

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By Bekah Ervin

Rapper Kanye West appeared on the comedy television show Saturday Night Live on Sept. 29 wearing a Make American Great Again hat. He delivered a political rant as the credits rolled.

According to People Magazine, West took the place of singer Ariana Grande who had to drop the performance. He announced on Twitter the morning of his performance that he is now going by “Ye” which is also the title of his eighth album. This name change comes with the recent announcement of his ninth studio album, “Yandhi.” His SNL performance included three tracks, some of which are assumed to be from his upcoming album. He also brought in some guests to perform with him on the SNL stage including Lil Pump, Teyana Taylor, 070 Shake and Kid Cudi.

Those in attendance for the season premiere of SNL were in for a wild ride for the rapper’s performance. One of the three songs from West included Lil Pump and himself donned in Fiji and Perrier water bottle costumes for their “I Love It” performance.

Once the cameras stopped rolling, the audience caught the politically-charged rant from West who was quick to grab his Donald Trump hat for his speech. He was videoed by members of the audience who posted their clips on social media. His rant included criticisms of the Democratic Party, including a claim that it’s the “democratic plan” to “take their fathers out the homes and promote welfare.” He went on to discuss his support of Donald Trump: “So many times I talk to, like, 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.” Many videos of his off-the-air rant have been posted to YouTube and various social media platforms, most of which have been taken down.

West’s support of Donald Trump was first made public in Nov. 2016, just after the presidential election that month. According to Billboard, West said at a concert in San Jose that he would have voted for Trump if he had voted which brought both praise and criticism from the crowd. Soon after that, West met with Trump at Trump Towers “to discuss multicultural issues.” West has continued to support Trump on social media and has recently been wearing his Make America Great Again hat in public and now at his SNL performance both on and off air.

Part of West’s rant included telling of the criticisms he supposedly received backstage before the show began. He said, “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.” West’s monologue on SNL concluded with a statement of gratitude for being able to talk about political issues on stage. “Thank y’all for giving me this platform…I know some of y’all don’t agree. But y’all be goin’ at that man [Trump] neck a lot, and I don’t think it’s actually that helpful,” he said.

Later, someone in the audience yelled, “I love you, Kanye!” West’s response? “I love me, too!”