Class is in session, and Professor Kanye West is ready to share his life lessons with the world.
For the first time in five years, the rapper sat down with Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday evening interview for a wide-ranging interview on topics including his 2016 hospitalization, decision to speak out in support of President Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and living with bipolar disorder.
On the topic of the election, Kanye explained, “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… 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. So I didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash. 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.”
The hip-hop superstar said his controversial tweets had “nothing” to do with politics, but instead “represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone said… If I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer ‘Ye. That’s what makes ‘Ye.”
So how does Kanye ensure he’s staying true to himself at all times? He agreed with Kimmel that his true brilliance comes by accepting every part of his identity, including his bi-polar disorder.
From the rapper’s perspective, “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.”
As for West’s biggest lesson he wants to share, “People need to be able to express themselves without fear or judgement.”
West also addressed wife Kim’s recent trip to the White House, where she successfully convinced POTUS to grant Alice Johnson clemency.
“She’s super passionate about it and it was amazing for her to see that dream come true,” West gushed.
Kimmel then asked, “Were you ever concerned about her being alone in the Oval Office with President Trump?” The hip hop superstar’s response? “Well, he is a player!”
And… class dismissed!