Kanye West is on a roll. After an off-air rant in support of President Trump at his SNL appearance earlier this month, he went on to meet with the president himself at the White House last week. Instead of a dialogue, however, Trump found himself upstaged when Kanye launched into an impassioned 10-minute monologue.
In what has become something of a signature for the singer/songwriter/rapper/producer/soliloquist, Kanye’s rant covered topics ranging from prison reforms, jobs and mental health to neuropsychology, the Unabomber and alternate universes.
He began by requesting a pardon for Larry Hoover, a Chicago gangster serving multiple life sentences for drug conspiracy, extortion and murder. Kayne argued that Hoover had simply been trying to do something “positive for the community.” His plea quickly veered into the bizarre as he explained that Hoover’s release was close to his heart because, “in an alternate universe, I am him [Hoover].”
Kanye went on to praise his “Make America Great Again” cap as the equivalent of a superman cape that empowered his masculinity. He detailed the results of a neuropsychological evaluation that put his IQ on par with Tesla and Freud. And he passed his iPhone around to Trump and Kushner, showing off a gif of what he called “iPlane 1” – a hydrogen-flued jet to replace Air Force One.
Touching again on prison reform, Kanye argued that the 13th Amendment, while purporting to abolish slavery, in reality acts as a “trapdoor” to re-enslave African Americans in the prison system. It was perhaps his most coherent point.
Trump, meanwhile, could barely get a word in. When Kanye wrapped up, Trump appeared speechless. “I’ll tell you what,” he finally concluded, “That was pretty impressive… That was quite something.”
And for a president known for his provocative, off-script speeches to be so blown away – well, that really is saying something.