The Daily Beast today published a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West — which addresses music, fashion, West’s late mother and of course his much-criticized support of President Trump — on his Netflix show, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31. The article praises the hour-long session as “not only one of the best interviews Letterman has ever conducted, it’s also one of the most coherent and engaging interviews Kanye has ever given, even if it does go off the rails at times.” That may be the case, although there is scant evidence of it in the excerpts published today.
The most controversial statements, as usual, are about Trump, which apparently take place toward the end of the interview. West brings up the subject.
“This is like my thing with Trump — we don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel,” he says, claiming that his donning a “Make America Great Again” hat is “not about politics” but rather an attempt to break the stigma around showing support for Trump.
Letterman brings up the Republican-led voter suppression efforts during the recent midterm elections. “So if I see a person that I admire talking about Donald Trump can think whatever he does,” Letterman says, “I wonder if those thoughts, indirectly, aren’t hurting people who are already being hurt.”
Instead, West replies that Trump voters are “treated like enemies of America because that’s what they felt.” After Letterman makes a case that Trump actually is not helping those who vote for him, West says, “Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?”
Asked who the real bullies in America are at the moment, he replies, “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!”
Earlier in the interview, West brings up a different controversy, his recent verbal spat with Drake.
While talking about his lyrics, West says, “An artist which I will not mention, because I’m not allowed to mention him or any of his family members…”
“That’s fairly provocative,” Letterman says.
“Well, we had a little beef last year,” West says, before admitting he is referring to Drake. “He has this line that I love that says, ‘I told my story and made history’—like made his story and made history. That’s what we do, we tell our story and then people relate to that story.
“I have a friend who told me that my power is my influence,” he continues. “And I said my power is my ability to not be influenced.”
Later in the episode, Letterman and West discuss mental health. “When you’re bipolar, you have the potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it,” West says, referring to his unhinged livestreamed interview on the publication last year.
He also says that his bipolarity may help fuel his creative efforts. “If you guys want these crazy ideas and these crazy stages and this crazy music and this crazy way of thinking,” he says, “there’s a chance if might come from a crazy person.”
The interview, which closes with footage from West’s recent Sunday Services, begins streaming on Netflix on Friday, May 31.