But Obama was quick to give a nod to West, whom he insulted after the singer ruined Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech by jumping on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. “[Kanye’s] a Chicago guy,” Obama said. “Smart. He’s very talented.”
When journalist David Samuels reminded Obama he’d previously called Kanye a “jack***,” Obama said he still thought that way. “He is a jack***,” said the president. “But he’s talented.” West has a history of dustups with presidents.
The hip hop star also received disapproval from then-President George Bush in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, saying the president was racist and “didn’t care about black people”. Bush later revealed in his memoir that West’s insult was one of the lowest points in his presidency.