Washington - It was a head-scratching afternoon at the White House on Thursday as rapper Kanye West and some of his many opinions descended upon 1600 Penn. to discuss everything from North Korea to bipolar disorder with his "brother" President Donald Trump.
Sporting his now-signature "Make America Great Again" hat, West made his first trip to the executive mansion to move the needle on several issues close to his heart and, before he deleted it, his social media feed - among them prison reform, gang violence and his hometown of Chicago.
Seated across from Trump at the famous Resolute Desk, West began the Oval Office meeting - which also included NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner - with a nearly 10-minute-long speech that the rapper said was "from the soul," according to White House pool reports.
The meandering soliloquy roller-coastered from the personal to the political. West called the president's work on criminal justice reform (an issue close to wife Kim Kardashian's heart) "bravery." West also said he was advised not to wear the MAGA hat, though he did not specify by whom. "They tried to scare me to not wear this hat," he said.
He also commented on his childhood. "My dad and my mom separated so there was not a lot of male energy in my home and also I'm married to a family where, you know, there's not a lot of male energy. It's beautiful though." He said that Trump had given him (we assume metaphorically) "a Superman cape" to help do good.
West also had some clarification about his mental health. The rapper had previously spoken out about his bipolar disorder, but told Trump on Thursday that was a misdiagnosis and that West is instead just sleep-deprived.
West, who received harsh criticism for suggesting slavery was a "choice," told Trump that "we have to release the love (throughout) the country ... we don't have the reparations but we have the 13th Amendment."
The rapper referred to his own Oval Office opus as "a fine wine," adding "it has complex notes to it."
When his monologue was finally finished, it was Trump's turn to say something.
"I tell you what, that was pretty impressive," said the president in response to West's outpouring. "That was quite something."
Trump added that West could "speak for me any time he wants. He's a smart cookie. He gets it."
When asked by a reporter if West, who has teased a presidential run in the past, was a viable candidate for commander-in-chief, Trump said that the rapper "could very well be." But West himself had a caveat: "Only after 2024."
West continued: "Let's stop worrying about the future, all we have is today ... Trump is on his hero's journey right now. He might not have thought he'd have a crazy mother------ like (me)."
The pair then posed for photos and West, who did not cast a vote in the 2016 presidential election but has been a vocal supporter of Trump, hugged the president.
"I love this guy right here," West said.
The Washington Post