WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump and hip-hop artist and avid cap wearer Kanye West. They’re the power couple of 2018, which probably leaves West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, feeling a little left out.¹
True to their
threat word, Trump and West met Thursday for a media-filled White House love fest, followed by lunch with Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, also a senior adviser. The president, however, didn’t order the Secret Service to keep West under lock and key until he finished work on his delayed album, “Yahndi.”
The biggest takeaway for Chicagoans from Thursday’s meeting is West apparently has Trump rethinking his early stance backing “stop and frisk” police policies, a tactic he wanted to see introduced in the city. On Thursday, the president said he would be open-minded on the issue and consider other options. West even stumped for Chicago, saying the image of “Chiraq” isn’t fair considering the city’s murder rate keeps dropping year to year.
RELATED: Trump Asks Attorney General To ‘Straighten Out’ Chicago Crime
But the public would be disappointed if the Kanye-Trump confab was simply for policy wonks. And in that, it didn’t disappoint. Not since Elvis Presley had a White House chat with President Richard Nixon has an Oval Office meeting looked like it was orchestrated by David Lynch. How crazy did things get? Let’s put it this way: West’s theory of alternate universes² actually made sense compared to some of the other shenanigans.
Here are eight weird moments from Thursday’s meeting.
1. Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cap
Ever since he performed at the end of “Saturday Night Live,” sporting a red Make America Great Again cap, renewed interest has been given to West’s chapeau, which barely leaves his head. Apparently there’s a reason why he keeps it close to him.
RELATED: Kanye West’s 6 Strangest Acts Over 3 Days
“They tried to scare me not to wear this hat, my own friends. But this hat … It gives me power in a way,” West said. “There was something about when I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. That’s my favorite hero and you made a Superman cape for me.”
If West feels like Superman in that cap, what’s his kryptonite? A Three Doors Down concert and a strong wind?
2. Trump Goes Han Solo On Kanye’s Affections
West capped his Joycean stream of consciousness by giving Trump a hug. But before that display, the being currently known as Ye opened his heart to the president formerly known as The Donald.
“I guess I know I love you,”
“I know that,” Trump replied
That’s right, the president channeled Han Solo at the end of “Empire Strikes Back.” Since this media event looked like it was ripped from the pages of Us Magazine, let’s crib from the publication a little bit and ask: Who said it better?
Trump did say that he and West are longtime friends, which is a bit baffling considering Trump called for a Kanye boycott after the rapper stage-crashed Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
3. Saying Nope to “Dope”
While holding court in the Oval Office, West did a bit of vocabulary self-correction when talking about how Ford Motor Co. needs to be at the front of the auto industry with the “highest design, the dopest cars.”
“I don’t say ‘dope’ I don’t try to say negative words and try to flip them,” he quickly amended. “We just say lovely, positive, divine, universal words.”
West then went on to use “flyest” as an adjective like he was a member of the Offspring in 1998 and dropped an m-f bomb, a word that apparently doesn’t violate his “no flipping negative words” rule.
4. He Ain’t Bipolar; He’s Just Tired
Following West’s off-camera Trumpian rant on “Saturday Night Live,” cast member Pete Davidson offered a rebuttal of sorts that referenced both of their mental health problems — Davidson’s the self-proclaimed “crazy” cast member and “we know which side of Kanye is at the wheel right now,” he said — and questioned the music star’s decision to stop taking medication.
“Take ’em! There’s no shame in the medicine game,” he said. “I’m on them, they’re great. Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.”
Not so fast, Pete. West said Thursday that he had been misdiagnosed as bipolar. In fact, he was just sleep deprived and that could cause dementia in 10 to 20 years.
And when West added something about helping pharmaceutical companies make more money, it really did sound like he could use about 72 hours of restful sleep.
5. It’s Not 123456, But It’s Close
A Huffington Post Periscope video recording the Oval Office revealed a fascinating view into how the mind of a musical genius works. The footage caught West typing in his iPhone pass code, 000000.
The easy passcode makes sense if you’re not getting enough Zs.
6. Jim Brown
Speaking of geniuses, Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown was a genius on the football field, arguably the best NFL player ever and definitely the best running back all-time (sorry, Walter Payton and Chicago Bears fans, but it’s true). Like Kanye, he’s an unapologetic Trump supporter, so it was unsurprising to see him as West’s guest at the White House on Thursday.
That doesn’t make his appearance any less disconcerting to see, though. Brown was a vocal civil rights activist in the 1960s, and according to a Nation editor, he’s part of the “holy trinity of athlete-activists” that includes boxer Muhammad Ali and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. Even Brown’s Hollywood career has tackled racial issues, whether in action movies such as “… tick … tick … tick” or Spike Lee films like “He Got Game.”
But like Kanye, Brown has an admiration for Trump and his business acumen, which makes Cyndi Lauper right.
7. Kanye’s Name-Drops and Sampling
Another unsurprising but still odd occurence was all of West’s references and name-dropping. In fact, West had more name-drops than a track by The Game.
Here’s an incomplete list of all the people he mentioned in about 10 minutes during his meeting with Trump, some famous, some infamous:
In praising Trump, West also showed he doesn’t confine his sampling to music. He said the president was on “a hero’s journey,” a term popularized by comparative mythology and religion guru and George Lucas touchstone Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero of a Thousand Faces.”
And West didn’t stop there. He harkened back to the 1980s, paraphrasing a popular Vidal Sassoon ad slogan to explain how Trump’s and America’s public images are intertwined.
“If he doesn’t look good, we don’t look good,” he said.
Like the fantastic entertainer he is, West pulled out all the stops for his biggest
swipe homage. The hydrogen-fueled iPlane 1 that will be built by Apple and should replace Air Force One? The image on his phone that he showed to anyone in the room who was interested? It’s actually a concept plane designed in 2012 as part of a project that envisions what commercial air travel will be like in more than a decade, according to James Titcomb of the Telegraph.
8. What They Ate
According to the White House, Trump and West ate caprese salad and a roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and asparagus. Nothing strange about that, right? It’s not like they were feasting on flamingo tongues and deep-fried songbird.³
Except that spread runs contrary to Trump’s reported dietary habits. Where were the Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and KFC? Did they sip on cans of Diet Coke? Was there a cookie buffet with Oreos and Vienna Fingers?
¹ On the other hand, Melania Trump is probably happy her husband has a new best friend who’ll talk to him for hours on the phone and take strolls through the White House Rose Garden.
² Have you read up on M-theory or the brane multiverse? Alternate universes aren’t that crazy.
³ That’s ortolan for your foodies and “Succession” fans.
Kanye West and President Donald Trump embrace Thursday, Oct. 11, during a White House meeting. (Photo via Shutterstock)