Kanye West de­liv­ers a sur­real Oval Of­fice show

Hawke's Bay Today - - World - USA

Live from the Oval Of­fice, it’s Kanye West with a jaw-drop­ping per­for­mance.

The rap­per didn’t rap. But, seated across from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the Res­o­lute Desk, the mu­si­cian de­liv­ered a mul­ti­part ram­bling mono­logue yes­ter­day that touched on so­cial is­sues, hy­dro­gen planes, men­tal health, en­dorse­ment deals, pol­i­tics and oh so much more.

Seiz­ing the spot­light from the typ­i­cally cen­ter­stage pres­i­dent, West dropped the F- word, floated pol­icy pro­pos­als

— and went in for a hug.

“They tried to scare me to not wear this hat,” West said of his red Make Amer­ica Great Again cap. But, he said, “This hat, it gives me power in a way. You made a Su­per­man cape for me,” he told Trump.

It was a sur­real scene even by the stan­dards of a un­con­ven­tional White House. The un­likely al­lies spoke to re­porters be­fore a closed­door lunch that had been billed as a fo­rum to dis­cuss pol­icy is­sues in­clud­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, gangs, pri­son re­form and vi­o­lence in Chicago, where West grew up. Spec­ta­tors at the show in­cluded Trump’s son-in-law and top ad­viser, Jared Kush­ner, for­mer NFL star Jim Brown and the at­tor­ney for a gang leader serv­ing time in fed­eral pri­son.

Dur­ing one pause, Trump seemed to ac­knowl­edge the odd­ness of the mo­ment, say­ing: “That was quite some­thing”.

The con­ver­sa­tion be­gan with an ex­change on North Korea among Trump, Brown and West. Trump said the re­gion was headed for war be­fore he took over, and West com­mended him for stop­ping it. Brown said he liked North Korea; Trump agreed.

From there, West dis­cussed pri­son re­form and vi­o­lence in in­ner-city Chicago. He brought up Larry Hoover, the leader of the Gang­ster Dis­ci­ples who is serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der, claim­ing, “The rea­son why they im­pris­oned him is be­cause he started do­ing pos­i­tive for the com­mu­nity. He started show­ing that he ac­tu­ally had power, he wasn’t just one of a mono­lithic voice, that he could wrap peo­ple around.” West said he “loved Hil­lary” Clin­ton, Trump’s 2016 Demo­cratic ri­val, be­cause he loves ev­ery­one, but said he con­nected with Trump’s “male en­ergy”. He also crit­i­cised the 13th Amend­ment, which abol­ished slav­ery, call­ing it a “trap door”. At one point, West men­tioned he had been di­ag­nosed with bipo­lar disor­der, but later said it was a mis­di­ag­no­sis and he ac­tu­ally had sleep de­pri­va­tion.

Hold­ing out his phone, West showed Trump a pic­ture of a hy­dro­gen-pow­ered plane that he thought should re­place Air Force One.

“This right here is the iPlane 1,” he said. “This is what our pres­i­dent should be fly­ing.” Added West: “If he don’t look good, we don’t look good. This is our pres­i­dent. He has to be the fresh­est, the fly­est” and have “the fly­est planes”. West also had a sar­to­rial sug­ges­tion for Trump, propos­ing a hat that says just “Make Amer­ica Great” — drop­ping the “again”. At the end of West’s lengthy, some­times-hardto-fol­low di­a­logue, even Trump seemed at a loss.

“I tell you what: That was pretty im­pres­sive,” the Pres­i­dent said.

Kanye West

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