It’s not a surprise to hear about politics coming between a friendship. John Legend opened up about his friendship with Kanye West being hurt, after the Donda rapper publicly supported former President Donald Trump. The R&B star explained that the two “aren’t friends as much as we used to be,” during an appearance on CNN’s The Axe Files podcast, on Thursday August 4.
When the host David Axelrod asked John, 43, about his friendship with Kanye, 45, the “All Of Me” songwriter admitted that politics got in the way. “I honestly think because we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump. I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship honestly,” he explained.
It seemed like John not endorsing Ye’s 2020 campaign for the Oval Office was what really drove a wedge between them. “He was upset that I didn’t support his run for Presidency of the United States of America,” he said. “He was not happy about that, and we really haven’t been close since then.”
John and Kanye have had a long history of collaborating together. John’s debut record Get Lifted was released on Yeezy’s GOOD Music label in 2004, and the rapper is listed as a collaborator. John was also notably featured on Kanye’s 2010 track “Blame Game” from his record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Given how close the rapper and singer once were, the podcast host asked John what people don’t totally understand about Kanye, but he admitted what you see is what you get. “He’s been very open with who he is and his struggles with mental health. He’s very real, honestly,” he said. “I think there’s not a lot about him that people don’t get. He’s been pretty upfront with his opinions, his struggles, all the things that he’s dealing with, and I feel like 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 seeing the real Kanye publicly.”
John’s sentiment echoed a similar comment that he’d made during a 2020 interview with The Sunday Times. The Grammy-winner explained that even though he still had “love” for Kanye, he distanced his relationship with him. “We were never the closest of friends,” he said, before explaining that the two just grew apart.