Many assumed that it was after the Chicago native became a devout Donald Trump supporter, but it turns out a lot more contributed to the deterioration of the relationship.
In a new interview with Michael Schulman of The New Yorker, Legend clarified it was less about Trump being president and more about West’s own political dreams.
“Yeah, what it got described as was, we stopped being friends because he supported Trump, which was a mischaracterization of what I said. That was kind of the Rupert Murdoch version of the story—it was all over the New York Post and Fox News. What I was saying was that he was very upset with me that I didn’t support him running for president, and that was the real impetus for us having a strain in our friendship,” Legend said. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but he was very upset with me that I didn’t support him and I supported Joe Biden. It’s up to him whether he can get past that.”
Legend explained that someone’s political leanings shouldn’t wholly determine a relationship, but after a certain point, those opinions affect and represent their true ideals.
“I don’t feel like politics should be everything in your relationships, and your relationships with people shouldn’t only be determined by who they voted for. But I do believe that certain things you believe in are indicators of your character, and obviously, that will affect your friendships. I mean, what are friendships? If they’re not your blood relatives, in many ways they’re defined by your impression of that person’s values and whether or not there’s some level of compatibility with the way you see the world,” the singer continues.
Despite the strained relationship, Legend explains that he led with love when he presented his views to West. Those true intentions were on display for millions to see when West shared their text conversation on Twitter in 2018, saying that he’s too “power and influential” to endorse Trump’s beliefs. Legend spoke about that leaked text with The New Yorker and explained why he was so against West’s presidential run.
“Everyone saw how I talked to him about it. I talked to him with love and with empathy, and tried to help him see another way of looking at things. And obviously he went the way he went with it. The most frustrating thing about his run for the Presidency for me was how much it was an operation run by the Trump campaign. I don’t know how aware he was of the fact that there was so much Trump personnel throughout his campaign, raising money for him, getting petitions signed for him, getting him on the ballot,” Legend told The New Yorker. “Kanye was upset with that, and we haven’t been friends since, really.”