Kanye West gets booed while delivering a pro-Trump rant on Saturday Night Live
The 44th season of Saturday Night Live premiered over the weekend, with Adam Driver as host and Kanye West as musical guest. (Originally Ariana Grande was booked to perform, but canceled for "emotional reasons.") For his first performance, Yeezy and Lil' Pump sang a tepid, heavily censored version of their hit single I Love It, while wearing ridiculous water bottle costumes. Then, for his second performance, Kanye and Teyana Taylor debuted a new collaboration, We Got Love. Sadly, they did not also wear ridiculous water bottle costumes.
However, what happened after the credits made headlines. Adam Driver thanked the cast, then Kanye, proudly wearing a red MAGA hat, took the stage for a rare third performance. Joined by Kid Cudi, 070 Shake, and Ty Dolla $ign, he sang Ghost Town while the closing credits rolled. Yeezy invited the cast to come back on stage, and that's where the television broadcast cut off. But thanks to the internet, we know what happened next: Kanye delivered a rambling pro-Trump rant, while SNL cast members stood awkwardly behind him.
Chris Rock was in the audience, and shared clips of Kanye's rant on Instagram Stories. At one point, he appears to laugh, and say, "My God." Producer Mike Dean also shared footage of the rant, apparently recorded from the green screen feed. Some people in the audience laughed, some booed, and a couple applauded.
"You see they laughing at me," said Kanye. "You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me. They bullied me backstage they said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’ma listen to y’all now."
Yeezy removed his MAGA hat, then put it back on. "Or I’ma put my Superman cape on," he continued, "which means you can’t tell me what to do. Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love." He went to claim "90% of news" is liberal, and that criticizing President Trump is "not helpful."
After someone in the crowd yelled "f*ck Trump," Kanye responded, "Try love. Try love. Try love. Try love." He went on, "It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don’t just make our decisions off of racism. I’ma break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all they policies.”
In one of the lighter moments, an audience member yelled, "I love you, Kanye!" To which he responded, "I love me, too!" And in one of the more bizarre moments, Kanye said, "Actually, blacks weren’t always Democrats. It’s like a plan they did to take the fathers out the homes and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That’s the Democratic plan." (It is?)
Some cast members walked off stage during Kanye's speech, but apparently there's no beef. Ye tweeted that he "had so much fun at SNL" and claims "Lorne agreed that I would host before the year is out."
The next morning, President Trump praised Kanye for his rant on Twitter: "Like many, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live (even though I past hosted it) no longer funny, no talent or charm. It is just a political ad for the Dems. Word is that Kanye West, who put on a MAGA hat after the show (despite being told “no”), was great. He’s leading the charge!"
It's a shame Yeezy didn't deliver the pro-Donald Trump speech in a ridiculous water bottle costume. Maybe next time.