Donald Trump Calls Kanye West A ‘Genius’ Before Signing The Music Modernization Act

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Today, Donald Trump is set to sign the Music Modernization Act in a ceremony that will also be attended by famous musicians Kanye West and Kid Rock, both of whom have been very politically outspoken recently. The MMA is intended to update copyright law for digital and streaming recordings, ensuring artists receive royalties on older songs, creating specific compensation for music producers, and updating royalty rules in order to streamline the process of paying artists for streams through a third party.

Ahead of the signing ceremony, Trump stopped onto Fox News’ Fox & Friends segment to praise Kanye West, who has been profuse in praising Trump on his social media and during recent public appearances, including his performance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago.”First of all, I like him a lot,” Trump said. “He’s been a friend of mine. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a very different kind of a guy. I say that in a positive way. Those that are in the music business say that he’s a genius, and that’s ok with me because as far as I’m concerned, he is . . . He’s got a big following in the African-American community, a big big following . . . He’s really a great guy. You know what he wants? He’s not asking for anything for himself.”

There’s been some speculation that the above statement hasn’t been the case; many of Kanye’s current and former fans are convinced that he is using the controversy resulting from his pro-Trump statements to garner attention for the upcoming release of Yandhi. Meanwhile, Trump’s statements highlight exactly why so many are concerned about those statements. Kanye West is a hugely influential performer throwing his support behind an unpopular president whose policies have at least bordered on human rights violations and in all reality have trampled all over them. Although Kanye is apparently concerned with prison reform, he’s probably talking to the wrong person trying to make that happen. Watch the video below.