John Legend Says Donald Trump Put a Strain on Friendship with Kanye

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Creative giants John Legend and Kanye West go way back.

In a recent interview, Legend explained how the two met right as both of their music careers were about to take off. At the time, Legend’s college roommate, DeVon Harris, was (and is) also West’s cousin. Harris ended up recommending that Legend meet up with West after the latter had moved from Chicago to New York, where Legend was based.

“And I eventually worked on a lot of his early recordings and he worked on a lot of mine,” Legend said of their early meetups. “My demo eventually became my debut album, Get Lifted, and his demo eventually became College Dropout, all of which we worked on together.”

Now, though, things are different between the two artists. Not only do the pair have a total of 36 Grammys between them, but there’s also some distance in their friendship that hadn’t been there before.

“Well, you know, we aren’t friends as much as we used to be,” Legend said, “because I honestly think because we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting [former President Donald] Trump, I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly. He was upset that I didn’t support his run for the presidency of the United States of America for understandable reasons.”

“And we really haven’t been close since then,” he said.

Legend also explained that what you see with West is, usually, the real West. There’s no smoke and mirrors with the rapper. “I think he’s been very open with who he is and his struggles with mental health. And he’s very real, honestly. So I think there’s not a lot about him that people don’t get. Like he’s been pretty upfront with his opinions, his struggles, all the things that he’s dealing with. And I think what you see with him is pretty much what you get. I don’t feel like he’s a whole separate person in private than he is in public. I think you’re pretty much seeing the real Kanye publicly,” Legend said.

In other Legend news, the singer recently announced his forthcoming self-titled double album. Read about that HERE.

Photo: The Publicity Lab

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