Kid Cudi on His Kanye West Friendship and Disagreeing About Trump

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Kid Cudi on His Kanye West Friendship and Disagreeing About Trump

Kid Cudi may have first become known as a rapper, but these days he’s making just as big a name for himself as an actor. His latest role is in HBO’s We Are Who We Are, where he plays Richard Poythress, a father and American service member stationed in Italy. The character is also a MAGA-hat wearing fan of President Donald Trump—which initially concerned Cudi.

“I read the scripts and at first I was taken aback, because I have my beliefs,” he told Esquire in a new interview. “I’m not a Trump supporter. I don’t know if the world knows that, but I was just really concerned about what people may think.”

But after consulting with Luca Guadagnino, the series’ creator, Cudi came around to the idea. “I talked to Luca and it all made sense to me at the end of the day,” he said. “Look, it’s a character I’m playing and I was fully invested in that, you know? At the end of the day, I hope that people can accept that for what it is, and not go and be like, ‘Oh, shit, Cudi’s a Trump supporter now—he’s wearing a MAGA hat.’”

Of course, Trump and Cudi have one very famous friend in common: Kanye West. West helped catapult Cudi to mainstream music industry success, inviting him to collaborate on 2008’s 808s & Heartbreak, and serving as a producer in turn on Cudi’s hit debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. One of Cudi’s concerns about playing a Trump supporter was that viewers might think his political views are aligned with those of his Trump-loving friend.

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“I thought some people would be foolish about it and be like, ‘Oh, he must’ve talked to Kanye’ or ‘Kanye must’ve got to him’ or some shit like that,” Cudi told Esquire. “I think he knows where I stand, and I think he doesn’t bring it up to me. We just don’t talk about it. I totally disagree with it; I think he knows that. And if he doesn’t know, he knows now.”

Still, Cudi isn’t letting their political disagreements stand in the way of his friendship with West. “That’s my brother. I’ll go on record: That’s my brother. I love him,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with everything he fucking says and he fucking does, you know?”

Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.

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