Kanye West is back in the news cycle. Or, rather, he’s dominating the news cycle.
The last time the rap star generated so much attention for himself was after his last album, “Life of Pablo,” came out. West met with then President-elect Trump to talk about, in the rapper’s words, “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago.”
West eventually deleted all his pro-Trump tweets in response, according to TMZ, to Trump’s so-called travel ban in early 2017, and later he deleted all his tweets and left Twitter … until his return this month.
Since then, he’s mostly tweeted about his music and fashion enterprises. Last week, however, he tweeted that he loved the way Candace Owens, a black conservative commentator, thought.
“Only free thinkers,” he tweeted a few minutes later.
West also tweeted a series of video clips from Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, a bogeyman of the left for his attempts to explain how Trump used persuasion techniques to confuse mainstream media while making inroads with voters.
In the clips, Adams tried to explain how “people are breaking out of … their mental prisons,” and how Kanye was enabling that process.
In Adams’ view, West’s seven-word tweet about Owens broke a lot of people out of their mental prisons by framing two figures, West and Owens, that people understood to be diametrically opposed politically, within the same conversation.
In these clips, Adams also made sure to point out something that’s been missed by much of the freakout over West saying he “loved” Trump — that he didn’t know what West’s politics are.
West’s praise for Trump focuses largely on style not substance. “He is my brother,” West tweeted. “I love everyone.” West said the president had “dragon energy.” The contrarian West is naturally attracted to the contrarian Trump.
A couple years ago, West suggested he might run for president. The Democratic Party “welcomed” him to the race on Twitter. This time, it’s conservatives half-joking about a Kanye candidacy.
In one way, this celebrification of the presidency started decades ago. With the exception of George H.W. Bush, every president since Ronald Reagan arguably had star power. Clinton played the sax and appeared on MTV. George W. Bush was the son of a famous figure. Barack Obama was glorified as a pop-culture icon.