Legend, who got his big break in music thanks to his affiliation with West, has been butting heads with Ye for a quite while over his affiliation with the twice impeached 45th POTUS.
It all started in 2016 when Ye met with Donald Trump while he was still president-elect. Then after several back and forths over the years, the “All Of Me” crooner told The Axe Files podcast that he ultimately had to distance himself from his former G.O.O.D. Music brother.
“[Kanye and I] aren’t friends as much as we used to be,” John Legend told host David Axelrod. “I honestly think because we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump, I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly.”
The singer had admittedly tried to amend things over the years. He had previously texted Ye when he first started rocking the MAGA hat in 2018, but was ultimately dismissed by the Yeezy mogul, who posted Legend’s private texts to social media in response.
“Don’t let this be part of your legacy,” Legend wrote in part. “You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”
Kanye replied: “I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”
Still, Legend attempted to keep things amicable at the time, concluding the moment by writing in response: “Think freely. Think with empathy and context too. Your words and actions have consequences. Much love.”
But the former G.O.O.D. Music affiliate told Axelrod things took a turn when Ye hired one of Donald Trump’s lawyers to help his 2020 presidential run, which spurred Legend to speak out publicly against his former friend on social media.
“I wasn’t alone in that, but, you know, he was not happy about that,” Legend admitted. “And we really haven’t been close since then.”
He continued by saying he understands Kanye has struggled with mental health issues but admitted that with him what you see is what you get.
“I think he’s been very open with who he is and his struggles with mental health,” he said. “And he’s very real, honestly. So I think there’s not a lot about him that people don’t get… Like he’s been pretty upfront with his opinions, his struggles, all the things that he’s dealing with. And I think what you see with him is pretty much what you get.”
John Legend and Kanye West were thick as thieves before this fallout. The latter helped produce Legend’s 2004 debut Get Lifted, and even released the record on his own G.O.O.D Music label. The pair went on to collaborate numerous times, the most notable collab being Kanye’s “Blame Game” on his highly-revered fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Check out John Legend’s appearance on The Axe Files podcast above.