Kanye West didn’t have the most relaxing weekend.
After spending time during recent concerts sharing his thoughts on everything from Beyoncé to why he admires Donald Trump’s presidential win, the artist has canceled the remainder of his scheduled concerts for the rest of the year.
Since late August, Kanye has been traveling the country on his Saint Pablo tour, performing to fanatical crowds on a platform hanging from the ceiling of every venue, a solitary man on a mission to preach his own gospel through the power of pulsing electronic beats.
But his San Jose tour stop made a different kind of headline on November 17 when he told the crowd that he didn’t vote, but if he had, he would’ve voted for Donald Trump.
As the LA Times reports, Kanye explained his stance by saying he admires the way Trump conveyed his message while on the campaign trail:
There’s nonpolitical methods to speaking that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. And that style, and that method of communication, has proven that it can beat a politically correct way of communication. And I [agree] with that. I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius. Because it … worked!
Kanye went on to clarify that admiring Trump’s style “don’t mean that I don’t think that black lives matter. That don’t mean I don’t think that I’m a believer in women’s rights, that … I don’t believe in gay marriage.”
Those particular caveats left people understandably confused, given the racist and sexist rhetoric frequently employed by Trump and his supporters.
Then, on November 19, Kanye launched into another extended mid-concert ramble during a show in Sacramento. He covered everything from Beyoncé and Jay Z not respecting him (to Jay: “call me, bruh, you still ain’t called me”) to why Obama couldn’t change the country (“He had to be perfect. But being perfect don’t always change shit, bro”).
Kanye reminded people that yes, he was serious when he said he wants to run for president in 2020. He then dared the press to cover the concert before immediately cutting it short (“get ready to write your passive aggressive, LeBron James racist comments”) after playing just a few songs.
The Trump endorsement and walkout left many fans outraged, leading to a trending Twitter hashtag, #Kanyeisoverparty — a callback to the #Taylorisoverparty hashtag that arose in July after Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, posted a Snapchat story that revealed new details of Kanye and Taylor Swift’s years-long public feud.
Finally, a representative for Kanye confirmed the morning of November 21 that the year’s remaining Saint Pablo dates have been canceled.
Kanye coming out for Trump after the latter had already been elected has raised no shortage of eyebrows. After all, Kardashian — after allegedly flirting with the idea of voting for Trump after speaking with Caitlyn Jenner — came out in support of Hillary Clinton in September.
Also, this is the same man who went on live television in 2005 for a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser and used the opportunity to solemnly declare that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” If Kanye has shown off his politics before, they’ve leaned more liberal than not.
Then again, Kanye hasn’t actually said anything of substance about supporting Trump’s views. This endorsement seems entirely based on the how of Trump’s campaign, and the way it circumvented traditional political media to get the candidate’s message past the expected media outlets and into people’s homes.
On that front, at least, Kanye is right; Trump’s “method of communication” did work. And if there’s one thing Kanye West knows and respects, it’s the ability to veer off the expected course to grab yourself outrage and news coverage. (See: this article.)
Corrected to reflect that the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser was in 2005.