If you’d rather read the lyrics than listen below, note that the song is structured as a point/counterpoint. West does a few lines defending his MAGA outreach, then rapper T.I. does a few challenging him, back and forth. (T.I.’s lines are italicized at the last link.) Whether West wrote it that way because it reflects his own ambivalence about Trump or because he feared a straightforward apologia wouldn’t fly with fans who are already annoyed with his tweets, only he knows. He doesn’t hold back on self-criticism, though, as mouthed by T.I.:
You wore a dusty-ass hat to represent the same views
As white supremacy, man, we expect better from you
All them times you sounded crazy, we defended you, homie
Not just to be let down when we depend on you, homie…
You’ll deal with God for the lack of respect
Startin’ to make it seem like Donnie cut you a check
West answers at one point with this:
Y’all been leadin’ with hate, see I just approach it different
Like a gang truce, the first Blood to shake the Crip’s hand
I know everybody emotional
Is it better if I rap about crack? Huh? ‘Cause it’s cultural?
Or how about I’ma shoot you, or f*** your b*tch?
Or how about all this Gucci, ’cause I’m f***in’ rich?
Since American politics is now a hallucinatory virtual reality in which there are no rules to guide expectations, the chances of Kanye convincing the president to guest on a track and rap a verse or two can’t be less than 50 percent. Look for it circa spring 2020, with the White House somehow convinced that it’s going to lead to POTUS winning the black vote that fall.