The end of a friendship era?
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images and Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Legal Defense Fund
Longtime friends John Legend and Kanye West are (still) drifting apart. In an appearance on the Axe Files podcast, Legend said that he and the Donda rapper do not see eye to eye on political matters, which has caused a rift in their relationship — though anyone tuned into Legend’s comments over the past few years may have already read these tea leaves. “Well, you know, we aren’t friends as much as we used to be because, I honestly think because we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump; I think it became, uh, too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly,” Legend told host David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Obama. Going full MAGA wasn’t the only kicker, it seems. Legend’s failure to endorse Ye in his 2020 bid for the presidency appears to have ruffled some feathers. “He was upset that I didn’t support his run for presidency of the United States of America — for understandable reasons,” Legend said. “I wasn’t alone in that, but, you know, he was not happy about that. And we really haven’t been close since then.” The two have a lot of history together. In 2004, Ye signed the singer to his G.O.O.D. Music Label and released his debut album “Get Lifted” while also serving as executive producer. They collaborated multiple times over the next decade in tracks “They Say,” “Blame Game,” “Number One,” and others.
In the podcast, Legend clarified that the duo aren’t necessarily ex-friends, they’re just busy. “I don’t think we’re less friends because of the Trump thing,” he said. “He’s up in Wyoming. I’m here in L.A. We’ve both got growing families, and I no longer have a formal business relationship with him as an artist, so I think it’s just part of the natural cycle of life.” Speaking of the cycle of life and artistry, Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen are expecting a new baby, while the “All of Me” singer just announced his 8th studio album, titled Legend, out September 9. The 24-track double album features Saweetie, Muni Long, Jazmine Sullivan, Jhene Aiko, and more. Plus, he’s in Vegas doing a residency. That kind of schedule leaves little time to focus on healing a dormant bromance with Ye.