Kanye West appears to be taking the threats made against him in the wake of his public declaration of support for Donald Trump seriously, and was flanked by a team of three burly bodyguards as he went out for dinner in Los Angeles on Monday night.
The rap-star husband of Kim Kardashian wore a dark hoodie and black sweatpants and looked tense as he walked to his car, in pictures published by the Daily Mail.
West was threatened by Daz Dillinger, a rapper closely associated with Snoop Dogg, who posted a threatening message on Instagram and YouTube on Sunday over West’s support for the president.
Kanye had said that he and Trump shared “dragon energy’”and he called Trump his brother.
The “dragon energy” tweet was picked up by Trump, who retweeted it, saying: “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”
In the threatening Instagram message, Dillinger wrote, “National alert. All the Crips out there, y’all fuck Kanye up. You see that motherfucker, fuck his ass up on GP.” (GP means “general principle.”)
Mentioning the suburb where West lives, Dillinger said: “Stay in Calabasas, ya hear me? Cuz we got a Crip alert for Kanye. All the Crips out there - you see him, bang on his ass, fuck his ass up.”
Dillinger, whose real name is Delmar Drew Arnaud, referenced the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained, saying, “It’s like, we all in one boat and they killing all of us and he jump over there and say, ‘Master, I’m on your side master. I got all the information. I’m with you master Trump.’”
West has shocked his friends and supporters in recent days by appearing to endorse Trump, even going so far as to post images on social media of himself wearing a Make America Great Again hat, which he claims to have “repurposed.”
Among those apparently dismayed by West’s messaging was Kim Kardashian.
“My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don’t agree with everything Trump does,” he wrote about an hour after the first tweet.
Many commentators have expressed their dismay at West’s support for Trump.
The singer Questlove wore a T-shirt reading, “Kanye doesn’t care about black people,” while performing a gig over the weekend.
But a clue that perhaps explains Kanye’s apparent infatuation with Trump comes in one line from his new track, Ye vs. The People in which he raps: “I know Obama was Heaven-sent/ But ever since Trump won it proved that I could be president.”
The track also contains the line: “See that’s the problem with this damn nation/ All blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.”