On Thursday night, Kanye West returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live for his first public interview since his disorienting run-up to Ye, in which he endorsed President Trump, called slavery a choice and announced that he was bipolar. Over the course of his interview, West doubled down on many of the divisive points he’d espoused over the past three months. If there were any lingering beliefs that his pivot to poorly explained conservatism was a ploy to stir up attention ahead of an album release, he put them to rest.
“Just as a musician, African-American, a guy living out in Hollywood, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me. And then told me every time that I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say that out loud or my career would be over,” he told Kimmel. “It took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat, no matter what the consequences.”
West did not elaborate on the reasoning behind his support of Trump beyond what he’s described before. “It’s not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that.”
Kimmel pressed Kanye on that point, bringing up the recent family separations at the border and asking: “You famously said George Bush doesn’t care about black people, it makes me wonder what makes you think that Donald Trump does, or any people at all?” West did not give an answer, and Kimmel cut to a commercial break.
“Can you imagine me talking to my publicist to say that I’m going on TV again?” West remarked at one point. “I’m going on TV ’cause it’s awesome.” He went on to jump from topic to topic, from teaching his daughter the basics of fashion design to his preferences in pornography, before addressing the mental health issues that he’s experienced lately.
“I think it’s important for us to have open conversations about mental health, especially with me being black, because we’ve never had therapists in the black community, we’ve never taken medication. I think it was good that when I had my first complete blackout at age 5, my mom didn’t fully medicate me,” he said. “Because I might not have fully been Ye.”
According to West, his bipolar disorder does not result in periods of depression. “I’ll just say ‘I thought about killing myself, and then the thought is gone.”