Why Is Kanye Ben Carson's #1 Fan?

Well, this one has me stumped. Evidently, Kanye West is a loud and proud super-fan of GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. When he spoke to Vanity Fair last week, West discussed his upcoming album (which might be another year away from dropping), his fashion line, and then very, very strangely, his deep love and admiration for Carson. Kanye said that Carson is "brilliant," and that the first time he heard Carson speak, West "tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him." And this isn't recent — Kanye has been a fan of Carson for at least the last two years. This whole thing is baffling and weird, which also makes it totally Kanye.

I'm mostly confused about what on earth it is that attracts Kanye to Carson. Kanye is always kind of all over the map with... everything, but it strikes me as bizarre that someone who has been pretty supportive of the Democratic party would fawn over someone like Carson, who has repeatedly denounced virtually every aspect of Obama's presidency, is against gay marriage, and doesn't want to legalize marijuana (you'd think the latter would be a pretty big problem for Kanye; it's no secret that he likes to toke it up).

In 2014, Kanye tweeted that he was supporting the president and the Democratic party during the midterm elections. This support came despite the pseudo-feud between himself and the president after Obama called him "a jackass."

So the last we heard, this was where Kanye stood on the two major parties. But here comes possibly the strangest aspect about all of this: In 2013, Kanye first started singing public praise for Carson. Literally. He rapped about Carson when he was coaxed into freestyling on Big Boy in the Morning, a radio show on Power 106FM in Los Angeles. Kanye rapped, "Got off the phone with Benjamin Carson … that’s the next president, arson. Burn it down, burn Hollywood burn, like Ice Cube said." OK, then. Kanye proceeded to tell the show's host that he had recently spoken to Carson on the phone.

I find myself puzzling over what could be attracting Kanye to Carson. Looking at Carson's platform, it really doesn't seem to jive with issues that Kanye has been outspoken about himself. In the 2007 MTV special All Eyes On: Kanye West, Kanye asked his fellow hip-hop artists to stop using homophobic lyrics. He's been supportive of the LGBT community. Carson, on the other hand, has compared gay relationships to bestiality and stated that he "strongly disagreed" with the SCOTUS ruling that legalized gay marriage across all 50 states.

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And in 2014, Carson also told Fox News that marijuana is a "gateway drug," and that it should not be used for medicinal purposes. Kanye has spoken not-infrequently about his own use of weed, most recently saying that he smoked before the VMAs (where he announced his 2020 presidential ambitions).

Basically, I'm not sure exactly what part of Carson's policies have any appeal to Kanye (not that they might not have some common ground we're not aware of outside of gay rights and marijuana). Maybe he likes Carson's style, or the way he stays calm when other candidates get really hot under the collar. But that's not exactly the Kanye way — he loves spectacle. I can't imagine why it is that Kanye West loves Ben Carson, but maybe we'll find out more when Swish drops (whenever that ends up happening).