Kanye West shocked fans and fellow artists with a series of tweets endorsing Donald Trump this week.
One of those fellow artists was his friend John Legend, who reached out to the rapper directly asking to “reconsider” his support of the US president, only to have his private texts end up on Kanye’s Twitter feed.
“I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” John wrote in the text. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for.”
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 26, 2018
Appealing to a sense of duty to fans that he hoped Kanye possessed, the singer spoke about how damaging his support may be.
“As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion. 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.”
Kanye’s text response to the heartfelt and reasonable plea – which he also shared in the screenshot to Twitter – was to accuse his friend of trying to manipulate him.
“I love you John and appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
On Wednesday in the US, the 40-year-old father-of-three caught the world media’s attention when one of his messages was retweeted by the president.
Thank you Kanye, very cool! https://t.co/vRIC87M21X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018