On The Axe Files podcast with CNN’s David Axelrod, John Legend got candid about the breakdown of his bond with Kanye West. “We aren’t friends as much as we used to be,” he said.
The 43-year-old singer revealed that politics had a significant impact on their friendship, referring to Kanye’s presidential run in 2020 and the rapper’s support for former President Donald Trump.
“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,” John explained during the Aug. 4 episode of The Axe Files podcast. “He was upset that I didn’t support his run for the presidency of the United States of America — for understandable reasons. I wasn’t alone in that, but, you know, he was not happy about that. And we really haven’t been close since then.”
But despite their current distance, John explained that having Kanye as a friend in the past was helpful when it came to navigating rapid success in his career.
“[West] broke through just a little bit before I did, but we were basically peers and coming up together,” Legend said.
“But he was in a position to really help me as a producer, and he began to have more and more connections in the business. So eventually I signed to his production company as kind of like a go-between between me and any major label that I would sign with. So I was signed to his production company, Good Music, and he helped me get signed to a major label deal with Columbia.”
Ye and Legend’s friendship goes back decades, with the pair first meeting by complete chance in New York, since then, the two have collaborated multiple times over the years, including Legend’s single “It’s Over.” They’ve also been featured together on other artists’ tracks such as Big Sean’s “One Man Can Change the World” and Dilated Peoples’ “This Way.”
The “All of Me” singer famously sang at Ye’s wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014.