Kanye West didn't have the confidence to "take on the world" over his support for U.S. President Donald Trump after his 2016 hospitalisation.
The rapper didn't vote in the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, but told fans during his Saint Pablo Tour a few weeks later that he would have voted in favour of the former businessman, and the crowd made their disappointment clear by booing him. Later that month, the Stronger hitmaker was forced to cancel his tour after he was hospitalised, citing stress and exhaustion.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday night (09Aug18), Kanye admitted that lost his confidence following his time in hospital and didn't feel like he was able to publicly back the leader until earlier this year.
"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," he explained. "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 rapper was referring to the controversy he caused by wearing Trump's signature "Make America Great Again" hat on social media earlier this year.
He said his tweets had "nothing" to do with politics, but "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. I enjoy when people are mad at me about certain things".
Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian recently met with Trump to ask the U.S. leader to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, who had been serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offence. Their meeting was a success, with Trump commuting Johnson's sentence.
When asked if he was concerned about his wife being in the Oval Office alone with the leader, Kanye joked: "Well, he is a player."
The interview marked Kanye's first appearance on the chat show since 2013, when he appeared to end his social media feud with Kimmel.