Knoxville, Maryland
Ye is not in Calabasas anymore. The superstar rapper, designer and now 2024 presidential candidate flew to western Maryland on Monday alongside his new campaign manager, the right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous, and the de facto leader of the "Groyper Army," Nick Fuentes. The trio landed at Frederick Municipal Airport only to find that their driver was nowhere to be found. The limo company had accidentally sent him to Washington Dulles.

Ye, or the artist formally known as Kanye West, was in town to appear on Timcast, the podcast hosted by disaffected liberal Tim Pool. Timcast...

Knoxville, Maryland

Ye is not in Calabasas anymore. The superstar rapper, designer and now 2024 presidential candidate flew to western Maryland on Monday alongside his new campaign manager, the right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous, and the de facto leader of the “Groyper Army,” Nick Fuentes. The trio landed at Frederick Municipal Airport only to find that their driver was nowhere to be found. The limo company had accidentally sent him to Washington Dulles.

Ye, or the artist formally known as Kanye West, was in town to appear on Timcast, the podcast hosted by disaffected liberal Tim Pool. Timcast staff munched on Black Hog BBQ (they ordered it because they heard Ye likes barbecue) and wondered aloud if he’d still show up. Rumors flew as to what Ye, Yiannopolous and Fuentes were doing while they waited for the driver to arrive. First, we were told that Ye wanted to go see a movie. Then the word was that the group had posted up at a TGI Fridays. In actuality, Fuentes later confirmed, they ended up at a hibachi restaurant. Several private security guards milled around the property waiting for Ye to arrive.

Pool offered me some barbecue, and then some Virginia mead. I sipped on the syrupy stuff while psychoanalyzing the photo Pool posted on Twitter of Ye, Yiannopolous and Fuentes sitting on a private jet. Yiannopolous, who recently described himself as an “ex-gay” Catholic convert, had his nose buried in a Bible. Fuentes was in a hoodie, white mid-calf socks and sunglasses and looking down at his phone like a hungover frat boy. Ye wore some kind of extra-wide rubber boots and looked tired.

I spoke to Pool about his preparation process and why he decided to have the crew on his show. Cassandra Fairbanks, the former Gateway Pundit writer and current booker for Timcast, was able to wrangle Ye, Yiannopoulous and Fuentes for the interview. As we got word that Ye and crew were about fifteen minutes away, Pool still seemed to be questioning how to properly strike the balance between not giving an open platform to the “abhorrent” views espoused by the three men and covering a legitimate story in American politics.

“This is probably going to be the biggest show I’ve ever done and it’s going to get us in trouble and it opens up a whole bunch of risk. But, like, the entire news cycle over the past week and a half was what is going on with Trump and these guys. And then we got an opportunity to be like, ‘Hey, we’re going to have these questions answered,'” Pool told me.

“Am I going to make this a wag-of-the-finger moment at them, or are we going to try and understand what’s going on behind the scenes? And that’s the challenge,” he continued. “Do I make this my opportunity to virtue-signal about how how much I despise their views? Or do I say, ‘Look, I don’t agree with what you’ve said. I think it’s awful, in fact. But we’re here to learn about what’s going on.'”

The Timcast staff did have a backup plan if YouTube decided to nuke the livestream; air it on Twitter. With Elon Musk purchasing the social media app a few weeks ago, they felt confident that they could continue to stream there.

But sure enough, eventually Ye and his entourage arrived. Ye was offered a snack by co-host Luke Rudkowski and chose a popsicle. Yiannopoulos wore a tweed jacket with “YE 24” emblazoned on the back, his comeback apparently complete after years in the wilderness hawking amulets on the Church Militant’s YouTube channel. Ye’s mood was quickly soured as a throng of fans followed him around the house asking for pictures before he made his way up to the studio.

Fuentes, meanwhile, did his best to define the purpose of the “YE 24” campaign. “It’s about creating a win-win,” he told me. If Ye forces Trump to be tougher and push to the right and Trump ultimately wins, “that’s good,” Fuentes explained. “If Ye wins, that’s even better.”

As Ye arrived in the studio, I went up and sat in my designated chair. He looked up and stared at me suspiciously. I stood up, introduced myself and shook his hand and said that I was with The Spectator and would be sitting in on the session. He pointed to a chair at the table and said, “You’re sitting here, right?” I said, “I can, if that’s what you prefer.” The other members of the Timcast stream noted that all of the seats at the table were accounted for, and Ye said that he’d prefer only people around the table be present. He gave a sort of half-smile and explained that he doesn’t like to be surrounded by people. Tim gave me an apologetic look. I said that I understood and that it was nice to meet him and then I went downstairs to watch with Tim’s friends and staff. Ye was firm, but polite. He seemed like he didn’t want to be bothered.

tim pool ye

Tim Pool on Timcast (YouTube screenshot)

Pool started the show by asking Ye about his recent dinner with Trump, and Ye explained how a number of other “canceled” commentators had got in touch after his “deathcon 3 on Jewish people” tweet. Ye revealed that Alex Jones’s producer had connected him with Yiannopoulos, who in turn brought Fuentes into the fold. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Ye to launch into a diatribe about the Jews controlling politics and the media. “Rahm Emanuel was next to Obama and Jared Kushner was right next to Trump,” he stressed. Pool pushed back respectfully, but Ye threatened to leave the show on two separate occasions before finally walking out at the twenty-one-minute mark.

I was sitting in the basement and could hear doors slamming upstairs, but when I went up to the kitchen Ye was gleefully holding court. He seemed in better spirits than he had the entire night, perhaps because the pressure of the program was off. One of the show’s regulars, Hannah Claire Brimelow, was trying to get Ye to come back on the show and telling him that she wished he had more time to share his political views because people “needed to hear them.”

Eventually, Yiannopoulous confirmed that the car they ordered had arrived. Ye grabbed several Simple Mills brand Nut Butter Stuffed Sandwich Cookies off the kitchen counter and munched on them on his way out the door. He smiled and said goodbye to the crowd of people waving him off. After a few minutes, the car finally pulled away.

The Timcast staff seemed torn on how to feel about the entire encounter. Some thought Pool had pressed too hard on Ye too early in the interview. Others thought Ye was being a baby. Overall, they seemed disappointed that Ye didn’t stay longer and have a real and full-throated discussion. Pool recounted Yiannopoulos’s previous appearance on the show and wondered aloud if Yiannopoulos was deploying Ye to sabotage Trump for “revenge.” This evening, the only presidential campaign Ye seemed interested in sabotaging was his own.