On Wednesday, the 40-year-old rapper tweeted more than 80 times and voiced his support for U.S. President Donald Trump.
Legend reached out to West privately Thursday morning. “Hey it’s JL. I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump. You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for. As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion,” Legend’s text read.
The text message continued: “So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of colour. Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”
In response, West said, “I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
West explained his decision to share the screenshot of the private conversation with Legend in a tweet.
“I tweeted the John text to show that there are people around me that disagree with me and voice their opinion,” West tweeted afterwards. “I respect everyone’s opinion but I stand my ground.”
In another followup tweet, he argued, “If you feel something don’t let peer pressure manipulate you.”
Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, commented on West’s actions, writing, “Everyone keeps asking me to comment on sh*t. Comment on psycho Tami Lasagna, whom I refuse to give the joy to, say something about RHOA (Real House Wives of Atlanta), speak up about Kanye. When it comes to people we know, we DO speak up. To THEM. not on Twitter,” she wrote. “And sometimes, I guess it makes it to Twitter.”
Shortly after, West posted another screenshot of his private conversation between him and Legend.
“Think freely. Think with empathy and context too. Your words and actions have consequences Much love,” Legend wrote to West. “And since you’re posting texts, let me add that I have a new single out haha.”
West responded, “Haha. I love you John.”
“I really appreciate this dialogue with John Legend because I’m actually very empathetic. I’m still the kid from the telethon. I feel when people think of MAGA they don’t think of empathy,” the All Falls Down rapper went on to tweet. “This is year one. We can’t add empathy to MAGA by hating. We can only ad empathy with love and time and truly hearing all sides.”
West sent out one last tweet about the All of Me singer, “John Legend new single on line now.”
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During West’s Twitter spree on Wednesday, Legend sent out a message after the Famous rapper proclaimed his love for Trump, calling him “my brother.”
“I imagine there’s some comfort in imagining a future without racism and projecting that onto the present,” Legend wrote. “Thinking if we just deny the truth, it doesn’t exist. If history is erased, we don’t have to deal with its consequences. However…Far too many people don’t have the luxury of closing their eyes and ears. They feel it in their lives and can’t act like what they see and know doesn’t exist.”
Legend continued: “They know their family was destroyed by deportation or incarceration. They know their loved one was denied safe harbor because of their religion. They know their son or daughter was shot because their skin colour evoked fear.”
“They see the statistics about black applications for real estate or loans or employment being turned away because their name was Jamal and not James,” he wrote, adding, “I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth.”
Legend concluded with, “The defining trait of Trump’s campaign and political profile was his embrace of white supremacy. He made it clear every time he spoke. Some serious cognitive dissonance to ignore that for the other x% you might find appealing. I guess I agree with >1% of anyone’s thoughts though.”
West showed his support for Trump on Twitter Wednesday, writing, “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
He continued, “If your friend jumps off the bridge you don’t have to do the same. Ye being Ye is a fight for you to be you. For people In my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50 50 split but I don’t tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary I love Hillary too.”
“Thank you Kanye, very cool!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, quoting West’s tweet.
Trump also tweeted, “MAGA,” which stands for “Make America Great Again,” in response to a photo West tweeted of his Trump-signed hat.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked on Wednesday about West’s admiration for Trump and whether the pair plan to meet.
“I don’t know of any conversation that they’ve had over the last week or so,” Sanders said. “I’ll keep you posted if that changes.”
West met with Trump in December 2016 at Trump Tower. He defended the meeting in a series of now-deleted tweets, writing, “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues … I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.”