Christina Aguilera explained why she worked with Kanye West on her new album despite, well, everything

Christina Aguilera surprised everyone today, May 3rd, 2018, when she dropped the new single and video for “Accelerate” and announced an 11-track album, Liberation, set to arrive on June 15th. Perhaps more surprising was that she enlisted Kanye West to produce two songs off the album. Once upon a time, West was just a hip-hop legend and go-to producer. But that all began to change in late 2016 when he first voiced his support for Donald Trump, and last month, he went off the rails with a barrage of strange tweets, constant Trump talk, and a problematic TMZ appearance.

Obviously Aguilera did not sign on to work with West today, but with the release of her album, many are wondering about her work with the now-problematic artist.

"I’ve always been a huge fan of Kanye, Aguilera told Billboard. “Outside of, you know, his controversial aspects, I just think he’s a great artist and musicmaker and beatmaker. The artists that he chooses to pluck from different walks of life are so interesting.

Mind you, Billboard pointed out that this interview took place two weeks before West’s return to Twitter. However, West posed next to Trump outside Trump Towers in December 2016, so he was already a strange choice for Aguilera’s triumphant comeback album.

That said, Aguilera calls “Maria” — a West-produced track  — her favorite song on the album.

Obviously, we shouldn’t conflate talented women with the bad behavior of the men who surround them, but we can’t say we weren’t shocked by this collaboration. But, despite our frustrations with West, we welcome Aguilera’s first album in six years, and we cannot wait to hear Liberation on June 15th.

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