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Kanye West Is Stumped on Trump, Talks Bipolar Disorder and Porn on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ (Watch)

Kanye West discussed his support for President Trump, his bipolar disorder, music, family life and more in a wide-ranging and at times perplexing 20-minute interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday night. Anyone expecting the manic pronouncements of his controversial TMZ appearance in May — during which he said he believed slavery was a “choice” — instead saw a reflective, witty and even self-effacing West, although his comments, particularly about his bipolar disorder, did sometimes wander into semi-coherence. The only distractions were the grill covering his bottom teeth, and apparently someone or something in the direction of the audience that West kept staring at.

“Can you feel the dragon energy in the air?” Kimmel said by way of introduction, answering the obvious question of how he convinced West to appear on the show: “You don’t book Kanye,” he said. “When Kanye decides he’s booked, he lets you know.” He introduced the artist as “one of the most talented men in the world, a multi-Grammy-winning recording artist, fashion designer and shoe salesmen,” the latter a crack at the top-dollar Yeezy sneakers West had given him.

Kimmel began the interview lightly, wondering aloud if Kanye would be willing to help Donald Trump design uniforms for the recently announced Space Force, a running joke that featured Fred Willard reprising his role from a cheesy ‘70s TV movie of the same name. “I do like designing,” a deadpan Ye admitted. He then discussed West’s wife Kim Kardashian visiting President Trump personally to ask clemency for first-time drug offender Alice Johnson, receiving a boilerplate positive answer before quipping: “Were you ever concerned about leaving her alone in the Oval Office with him?” joked Jimmy.

“Well, he is a player,” grinned Kanye to laughter and applause into the first commercial break.

When the show returned, Kimmel, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, moved in on West’s support of the president, which the artist admitted had more to do with personal choice and confounding critics than Trump’s policies.

“Everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me, and then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over, I’d get kicked out of the black community,” he said. “So even when I said it right before I went to the hospital and I expressed myself… When I came out I had lost my confidence. And 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 were.

“What it represented to me is not about policies,” he said. “It represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone said. And saying, ‘You can’t bully me.’ … I enjoy when people are mad at me,” he concluded, lapsing into a labored metaphor of a child being forbidden to jump from a table inhibiting their creativity — a point the host questioned by asking whether a child isn’t blocked from such activity because it’s dangerous.

West then veered off on a tangent in which he said modern society is a “Truman Show”-style “simulation,” with people programmed in their responses and encouraged to remain in their protective cocoons.

“Can you imagine me telling my publicist that I’m going on TV again?” he asked.

As to why he decided to come on Kimmel, he said, “I love Jimmy. We can have a dialogue about the president, not a diatribe,” crediting the line to Sarah Jessica Parker.

He then spoke about how “love can cure so much,” that pride is one of the seven deadly sins and “we must defuse the nuclear bomb of hate,” before Kimmel brought him down to Earth by observing, “You so famously and powerfully said George Bush doesn’t care about black people… What makes you think Donald Trump does about anyone?”

West was silent for several seconds, then Kimmel cut to a commercial and did not return to the question.

The third Ye segment was devoted to a discussion of the “Ye” album. Kimmel asked whether, as in “Violent Crimes,” he really gets upset at his daughters’ future dating lives. “Oh, I think lifetimes and lifetimes ahead,” West said.

“Have your attitudes changed since having daughters?” wondered Kimmel.

“I still look at Pornhub,” West smirked, to the biggest ovation of the night.

“Oh, really,” Jimmy played along. “What categories?”

“Black on white, obviously,” answered Kanye, warming to the subject, which ended in a queasy joke about double-masturbation.

West revealed that “I Thought About Killing You” was inspired by seeing a documentary about the late U.K. fashion designer Alexander McQueen, describing it as a way of bringing attention to the epidemic of suicide, depression and opiate addiction, a reaction against today’s PC world in which contradiction is avoided in the rush to paint everything black or white. “I have a lot of empathy,” he said sheepishly, talking about the “need to expose yourself without fear of judgment.”

The 41-year-old admitted he purposely wanted to “be in a calm state” for this appearance, and even offered a glimpse of humility.

“I think it’s important for us to have open conversations about mental health — especially with me being black, because we never had therapists in the black community. We never approached taking a medication. I think it’s good that when I had my first complete blackout at age 5, my mom didn’t fully medicate me. Because I might have never been Ye. And there’s times where at least I’m happy that I know [I’m bipolar]. Like even like for this interview, I knew I wanted to stay in a calm state.”

When Kimmel held up the album artwork, West made sure to note the scrawled message on the cover: “I hate being Bi-polar, its (sic) awesome,” insisting it’s not a contradiction, but an actual state where a person can be both things at the same time. “Without both, you don’t get Ye,” he said, again referring to “Ye” in the third person, almost as a character partially separate from himself.

“I don’t know anyone who’s f—ed up as much as I have who’s had this kind of success,” he marveled.

 

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