West has faced a wave of backlash over the past month after posting a series of antisemitic remarks online, including one where he said he didn’t believe in the term antisemitism. He was subsequently suspended from Twitter and Instagram and several companies ended their association with him – including Adidas, who officially terminated their Yeezy partnership.
While many artists, celebrities, and politicians have publicly condemned West over his remarks, Akon has now expressed support for Kanye in a new interview with sports analyst and former NFL player Shannon Sharpe.
“I’m always defending the people that nobody wants to defend,” Akon said. “I’ma always defend Kanye West because I always believe in life and opinion is just an opinion. If Ye say something that I don’t agree with, I just don’t agree with it. But I’m not gon’ go jumping all mad and letting it affect my energy.”
During the interview he also said he thinks West’s recent behaviour is part of a plot to take Donald Trump‘s voting base in the next presidential election.
“I think Kanye is smarter than y’all think,” he added. “This the brilliant side of him. What is his next plan? To run for office, right. I’m just sayin’! From our knowledge, his next plan is to run for office, right? Who was his main endorser? Trump.”
“In order for Kanye to have a shot, he needs to have a piece of that base. This is how he’s getting it. And he knows this!”
West was a US presidential candidate in 2020 but went on to concede his run after winning 50,000 votes. At the time of his withdrawal, he announced plans to run again in 2024.
Akon’s comments come amid the official launch of Trump’s 2024 presidential run.
Speaking at the Mar-a-Lago hotel in Florida yesterday (November 15), Trump announced: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I tonight am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
He was reportedly urged to delay announcing a 2024 candidacy after a lacklustre performance from Trump-endorsed Republican candidates in the 2022 midterm elections last week.