As if 2016 hasn't been bizarre enough, now the world decides to mix politics and rap music in an unprecedented way. Kanye West visited Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, and the two outspoken (similarly narcissistic) men met briefly enough for a quick conversation and a few photos. But Kanye and Trump's awkward handshake was the real focal point of this meeting, because it kinda looked like a secret handshake that was the answer to all of your questions about Trump.
Does Trump listen to rap music? Insert the awkward handshake here, and the answer becomes obvious: no. Does Trump think that most rappers are basically athletes who need to be greeted with an abrasive hug/hand hold/pat on the shoulder? Insert the awkward handshake here, and you'll see that yes, he likely does think that. Does Trump try to kiss Kanye in the same way he tried to kiss Mike Pence? Insert the awkward handshake here, and, unfortunately, no, that gem of a greeting is clearly reserved for Trump's 2016 running mate (Kanye's VP run to come in 2020).
I like to think the handshake between Trump and Kanye was a simple, yet super awkward symbol of the most important acknowledgement of 2016: Kanye is just as qualified (read: unqualified) to be POTUS as Trump is, and the two men (who think very highly of themselves) bonded over just that.
I can't help but think of some of Kanye's most memorable and political lyrics in a time like this. Take his song "Power" as an example: "Lost in translation with a whole f***in' nation/ They say I was the abomination of Obama’s nation/ Well that’s a pretty bad way to start the conversation."
I mean, look, if you were referred to as "the abomination of Obama's nation" — especially as a black man in reference to our nation's first African-American president — you'd likely be so crushed you'd be running to Trump Tower, too.
Or take these lyrics from his song "New Day," in which this meeting with Trump was basically predicted: "And I’ll never let my son have an ego/ He’ll be nice to everyone wherever we go/ I mean I might even make him be Republican/ So everybody know he love white people."
So, 2016, it looks like this is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but with a Trump/Kanye handshake. I miss the old Kanye.