John Legend revealed he and Kanye West are not as close as they used to be, saying in a new interview with the Sunday Times that the two are simply in "different places" in their lives. He also denied that there was any rift between them due to West's vocal support of President Donald Trump.
"I don’t think we’re less friends because of the Trump thing," Legend said. "I just think we’re doing our own thing. He’s up in Wyoming. I’m here in L.A. We’ve both got growing families and I no longer have a formal business relationship with him as an artist, so I think it’s just part of the natural cycle of life."
Legend added that before West's controversial support of Trump, amid which the "Jesus Walks" rapper declared that black people were enslaved as their own "choice," the collaborators had "never talked about politics before." Legend continued, "It was never a part of our interaction. Our interaction was almost always about creativity and music."
The rapper is also in "a different place" musically, Legend said, and is focusing on his Sunday Services and Yeezy fashion line. "He’s doing gospel music. That’s what he’s focused on right now, designing his clothes, so we’re in different places."
Legend and West's close friendship played a role in West's 2018 support of Trump. The "Stronger" rapper even shared a private text from Legend on Twitter in April of that year, calling for him to "reconsider" aligning himself with Trump. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for," Legend wrote at the time. "As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion. So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color. Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation."
West replied at the time, "I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought." He later explained his reasoning for sharing the private texts, "I respect everyone’s opinion but I stand my ground. If you feel something don’t let peer pressure manipulate you."