The singer saw immediate backlash.
Kanye West didn’t vote in the election, but if he had, he would have cast his ballot for President-elect Donald Trump. He also still plans to run for president in 2020.
Those were the announcements the singer dropped to a displeased California crowd during his Thursday night Saint Pablo Tour show in San Jose. “I told you I didn’t vote,” said West to concertgoers at the SAP Center. “But if I voted, I would have voted for Trump.”
The statement came amid a lengthy political rant during his show, where West discussed his own policy points and compared them to Trump’s. The hip hop star had famously announced his decision to run in 2020 during the 2015 VMAs and on Thursday, he also doubled down on that promise: “I will take position in 2020 and do it myself.”
His pro-Trump comments ignited waves of boos from the crowd, who, according to the many posts on social media, left the venue in droves.
#ImGone and Kanye lost my vote in 2020
— nick swish (@nickswish8) November 18, 2016
Towards the end of his rant, West said, “That’s why ya’ll love me, became I’m me” to equal boos and cheers.
He then sang the first line of “Heartless” and had the crowd sing the second before stopping the track, again to boos. “I just said that I would have voted for Trump and then I did a song and ya’ll sang it at the top of your lungs,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that you’re a Trump supporter, that just means you’re okay with a celebrity having their own opinion, or that someone else is okay to have their own opinion that might not be your opinion, but you can still like that person or that person’s music.”
He also called out Dave Chappelle amid more booing, saying, “It’s okay. We can have opinions as celebrities. I know you said we couldn’t but thank you for breaking the ice on the mentality of a generation.”
On Friday, many Twitter users continued to react to West’s stance, with some referencing the 2005-Kanye West, who memorably said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a live concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Kanye west …..we miss who you were during hurricane Katrina
— jamalbryant (@jamalhbryant) November 18, 2016
This isn’t the first time West has shown his fascination with Trump, as the rapper included the president-elect in his controversial “Famous” video earlier this year, where he and wife Kim Kardashian were seen naked in bed with a range of celebrity and political lookalikes.
See the posts from social media below.
Kanye West has been talking for 15 minutes. He wants to run for President. All I can think about is how long his SOTU address would be.
— Harrison Wheeler (@hmwheele) November 18, 2016
Kanye just said he would’ve voted Trump. San Jose is packing its bags up.
— Rahul Krishnakumar (@rkrishnakumar) November 18, 2016
Kanye admitted he didn’t vote in 2016, but says he is concerned with how to become a different type of president in 2020 if nobody else does
— Raptor (@RaptorJesuss) November 18, 2016
— Gato XX (@Wet_human) November 18, 2016
When Kanye announces he’s running in 2020 pic.twitter.com/R1VuIo1b0d
— Mikaela (@WhiteMikaela) November 18, 2016
Part of the Kanye rant where he said he’s going to use a different political model in 2020 when he runs. pic.twitter.com/wmc2mLlCfg
— Raptor (@RaptorJesuss) November 18, 2016
@tellisjc an education system you liberals control… didn’t think about that one before you tweeted huh? Don’t think much at all I’m sure.
— joe black (@RidetheSnake85) November 18, 2016
Kanye West tonight speaking on racism in America. “Specifically to black people, stop talking about race so much.” pic.twitter.com/HTWlJgdq7E
— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) November 18, 2016
— Christina (@hoopsdiva) November 18, 2016
Lol they really booing Kanye off the stage at San Jose, #hereforit
— (@FikiPhresh) November 18, 2016
Hella ppl leaving the Kanye concert
— GeraJose (@Geras_510) November 18, 2016
KANYE WAS AN HOUR LATE FOR HIS CONCERT N ITS ALMOST 12 N HE HASNT DONE ONE FULL SONG BC HE KEEPS STOPPING TO RANT ABT THE ELECTION IM GNA
— (@yuriskwon) November 18, 2016
Kanye show was not the move. He lost me at “I would have voted for Trump”
— Jewel Burks (@jewelmelanie) November 18, 2016
LMAO kanye just freestyled at his concert and said “I hope they build the wall,I hope they get rid of them all”
— Jonn. (@JonnGrey) November 18, 2016
Kanye shouting out Trump is as 2016 as it gets. One moron paying homage to another. It’s lit.
— Cozé Altuve (@jstnbradley) November 18, 2016
This is Kanye’s platform. Literally & metaphorically pic.twitter.com/OEXkiq7mmh
— zoob (@JZoob) November 18, 2016
— Blair Hunter (@blairh) November 18, 2016
“Don’t clap while I’m talking, you are trying to control my platform” yeezy
— Unicorn Shawty (@StreetStylist) November 18, 2016
I will take position in 2020 and do it myself – kanye just now
— kayls (@kaaylen) November 18, 2016
damn i didn’t know i spent hella money to be at a presidential election kanye had spent a whole hour talking about politics
— lil zae (@alizaaaaye) November 18, 2016
Kanye went on a 20-minute speech about prepping for 2020 then went into performing “Power”. my soul wasn’t ready for that greatness.
— Devin Dismang (@dismayne) November 18, 2016
People booing at Kanye for his surprisingly not anti-trump speech.
— Alexander Webb (@alxndrwbb) November 18, 2016
right below Kanye west trying to normalize trump rn.. pic.twitter.com/IG6n0lqLIZ
— poni (@dolphinponi) November 18, 2016
Besides one of Kanye’s close friends sitting down and talking to him, I’m not sure what else can be done to influence his views.
— deray mckesson (@deray) November 18, 2016