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What’s Going On With The Donald Trump & Kanye West Relationship?

Jo KwokYee Lee
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Donald Trump Kanye West

Whether or not you have actively opted to pay attention to US politics, at this point it is hard for you to overlook the Donald Trump Kanye West bromance.

Their mutual support and admiration has seen the Donald Trump Kanye West relationship grow closer day by day, so close that West proclaimed his love for the president and referred Trump as “his brother”. The Donald Trump Kanye West relationship has certainly baffled a lot of people, mainly because the two seem to have conflicting takes on racial equality among many other issues. What is it that bonds them together?

Similarities. The truth is, even though the US President and the Chicago rapper might seem to be as different as chalk and cheese, they are actually more similar than we think. At the top of the list is their unquestionably strong confidence. Both Trump and West have such strong self-esteem and they are firm believers of themselves. Their prominence often puts their remarks under close public scrutiny but the two had never shied away from expressing their stance even at times when their opinion is being challenged. And of course, they also share a common passion of ranting on Twitter. Think about their tweets that have embroiled them in copious amounts of controversy, get the idea yet?

Donald Trump Kanye West

They also share a sense of ultra-unpredictability, some even accused that to be mental instability. Many times they take incalculable actions that shake the world or just make people go completely speechless. A classic example from the president’s side is his US-Mexican border wall construction along with his other drastic measures to keep migrants out of the states. And from West, I can’t be the only one that thinks donating some expensive Yeezys to Ugandan children was a bit out of the blue, right? Some fans did accuse them for not offering the most significant help, but hey, Kim Kardashian’s video of the couple giving out the sneakers did go viral, so who cares?

This list is non-exhaustive and unfortunately we can’t run through them all, but it probably is these similarities that have drawn these minds closer together. Their relationship is nothing new though. It began to sprout around the time in 2015 when West first pronounced his intention to run for president in 2020 (which has now been postponed to 2024) and Trump said he hoped West would make his words true. Then in 2016 Trump’s mannequin was featured in the rapper’s ‘Famous’ MV. And after that West had, in multiple occasions, proclaimed his love for the then newly elected president, such as at one of his Saint Pablo Tour concerts in California.

Donald Trump Kanye West

West continued to express his admiration and support for Trump. Their interactions then escalated to more tweets and meetings in person. Just two weeks ago Ye even made it into the Oval Office to discuss life and politics with the president. It is subjective to judge if their friendship is candid but surely it’s serious business.

It is arguably quite politically strategic for the two to buddy up because they are hungry for power. By forming such friendship, they are both more powerful. First off Trump, who is often being criticised for enforcing white supremacy, needs a powerful and representative figure like West in the black community. As the president of the US he is in need of that connection to further strengthen his leadership in the country. He has been quite successful so far because his effort has made West tell everyone that “Trump cares about the way black people feel about him.”

And likewise, West needs someone as contagious as Trump in the sphere of politics in effort to actually live up to his words – to run for presidency. Even though West has proven his undefeatable influence in the world of hip-hop and fashion, frankly speaking he is still green in politics. Trump could really give him a leg up. As a result, they have put themselves in a win-win situation when they form their affinity.

history of streetwear hip hop kanye west yeezy

West as an epic fashion icon and brand owner doesn’t seem to be care about his opinion bringing his business down at all. This is probably true – political stance really doesn’t cause much of a difference when you have a brand that is as impactful as Yeezy. And West is smart enough to draw the line between Trump and him when appropriate – he has said that he didn’t necessarily agree with all the things that the president has said.

The fact that politics, or even morality, has nothing to do with fashion sales is quite evident in a lot of contexts. The closest being that time when West claimed that black slavery was a choice. Back then great scrutiny was made around the brand and the rapper, many second-guessing if this ungrounded statement would eventually bring an end to Ye’s partnership with adidas. It didn’t, perhaps because the sports veteran still saw a lot of potential behind the deal (true). After all the value of fashion business is measured by revenue, not how well-received the political opinion of the owner is.

With West and his fellows constantly dropping hints of the next Yeezy release, the hype never burns out. According to Ye back in April this year, he was “currently the single highest paid person in footwear”, i.e. he made more money than the famous Michael Jordan, after the whole time of his pro-Trump theory. Chances are the brand’s performance will not be brought down by Ye’s radical moves.

As West goes from strength to strength, will we actually see him becoming the president of the US in six years’ time? It’s still early days to tell the odds for sure because it will largely depend on how the rapper works things out in the coming years, his take on national and international issues and not to mention how he packages himself as the key to ‘Make America Great Again’. Obviously who the other candidates are in the 2024 election is critical as well. Nonetheless it is not hard to imagine the rapper pacing towards that direction, starting with building the discussed close connection with Trump. Tell us what you think about #TrumpYe bromance.

Image Credits: Washington News

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Jo KwokYee Lee
Jo KwokYee Lee

Jo is a Hong Kong-native and a graduate in MA International Journalism at Cardiff University. She is a big sneakerhead who always keeps an eye on new trainer drops. Previously interned at other streetwear magazines, she is excited to talk about modern street fashion, music and youth culture on RC. Jo's favourite brands at the moment are Vans, Stüssy, Nike and Anti Social Social Club.

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