Kanye West is not only doubling down on his presidential run for the upcoming 2020 race, but he’s also already picked a running mate — all while recovering from COVID-19, which he revealed he had in February. He also made it clear he’s no longer backing current president Donald Trump while making several more controversial statements.
During an in-depth interview with Forbes, Kanye West said he’s well aware that he’s missed the filing deadline to appear on the ballot in multiple states. Still, he hopes to find a way around it and points to the coronavirus as the cause for his delay.
“I’m speaking with experts, I’m going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with [Joe] Biden.”
Meanwhile, the people serving as advisors on his campaign are his wife, Kim Kardashian West, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“We’ve been talking about this for years.”
In fact, he’s already tapped Elon Musk to be the head of the country’s space program should he win the coveted race. And his VP? A preacher from Wyoming named Michelle Tidball.
He also proudly stated that he’s running under a new mantra: The Birthday Party, stating:
“Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.”
His campaign slogan is a simple one: Kanye West YES. He explained the phrase and said he’s ready to “have fun” and “get past all the racism conversation.”
“Well my second album is called Late Registration. I got a rap … The other thing is, my campaign is Kanye West YES, not YEP, not YEAH. YES. YES. YES… When I’m president, let’s also have some fun. Let’s get past all the racism conversation, let’s empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let’s give some land, that’s the plan.”
“I would run as a Republican if Trump wasn’t there. I will run as an independent if Trump is there.”
He also recalled the first time he decided he was going to run for President. Fans might remember that he announced the big move during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. Kanye West said,
“It’s when I was being offered the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Awards at MTV. I remember being at my mom’s house, my mother-in-law, because my house was being worked on, she calls me ‘son’ and I call her ‘mom,’ I was in the shower thinking, I write raps in the shower. It hit me to say, ‘you’re going to run for president’ and I started laughing hysterically, I was like this is the best, I’m going to go out there and they’re going to think I’m going to do these songs and do this for entertainment, how rigged awards shows are, and then say I’m president.And I just laughed in the shower, I don’t know for how long, but that’s the moment it hit me.”
“God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time. You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I’m not crazy. Between all of the influences and the positions that we can be put in as musicians—you go on tour, you put out all these albums, and you look up and you don’t have any money in your account. It can drive you crazy, through all of that I was looking crazy because it wasn’t the time. Now it’s time. And we’re not going crazy, we’re going Yeezy, it’s a whole ‘notha level now. N-O-T-H-A.
As for why he’s no longer supporting Donald Trump after years of controversy, he referenced headlines that Donald Trump was hiding in a bunker during the heat of protests in Washington, D.C.
“It looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.”
“One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
He doesn’t seem too impressed with Democratic nominee Joe Biden either.
“I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama’s special. Trump’s special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.”
He continued and said the Democratic party is:
a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote. All of that information is being charged up on social media platforms by Democrats. And Democrats used to tell me, the same Democrats have threatened me…. The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party. I was threatened as a celebrity into being in one party. I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
And if he loses, he’ll be prepared to run again in 2024.
“Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024—because God appoints the president. If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.”
He opened up about his experience with coronavirus and said he suffered,
“Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it. I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!”
While he battled the coronavirus himself, he said he’s convinced the cure is prayer.
“We pray. We pray for the freedom. It’s all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.”
He went on to speak on his platform on issues like foreign policy and explained why he’s against abortion.
“I haven’t developed [my foreign policy] yet. I’m focused on protecting America, first, with our great military. Let’s focus on ourselves first…I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the bible.”
While he doesn’t have a foreign policy, he has plans to follow the Wakanda model featured in the high-selling film Black Panther
“A lot of Africans do not like the movie [Black Panther] and representation of themselves in…Wakanda. But I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House…That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one of the most powerful humans—I’m not saying the most because you got a lot of alien level superpowers and it’s only collectively that we can set it free. Let’s get back to Wakanda… like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes. Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine—like big pharma—we are going to work, innovate, together.”
“This is not going to be some Nipsey Hussle being murdered, they’re doing a documentary, we have so many soldiers that die for our freedom, our freedom of information, that there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.”
When it comes to the recent death of George Floyd and others killed by police, West shared his thoughts on how the nation can move forward.
“Well, God has already started the healing/This conversation alone is healing and revealing/We all need to start praying and kneeling… another bar after that, but when a rhyme comes together I’m going to complete it, not inside the lines created by organizations that we know as our reality. The schools, the infrastructure was made for us to not truly be all we can be but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We’re tearing that up, what we’ll do is we’re not going to tear up the Constitution, what we will do is amend.”
He continued and said,
“One of my to-do lists is to end police brutality. The police are people too. To end laws that don’t make sense”
He seemed to defend J. Alexander Kueng, one of the four officers involved in George Floyd’s death. While Derek Chauvin was the officer seen pinning his knee on George Floyd’s neck, which ultimately killed him, J. Alexander Kueng was one of three officers that stood by. Kanye West pointed out that J. Alexander Keung had just joined the force and said,
“Like, in the George Floyd case, there was a Black guy that went to jail and it was his first day on the force. So if it’s your first day on the force and it’s your training day, and this OG accredited cop with 18 violations already starts filing out, are you going to jump in front of that person and lose your job that same day? Especially in this climate when 40,000 people lost their jobs? This man was put in a position where—and also he probably didn’t realize that the cop was going to take it that far, he probably was so scared, in shock, paralyzed, like so many Black people. I’m one of the few Black people that would speak openly like this.”
He then refers to Black History month as “torture porn.”
“Oh one other thing, Black History Month. That is torture porn because when that comes up what we do is we see—and by the way, if I get that vibe—that’s the process and we are going to a beautiful, uplifting, fun, creative process as a people, as America collectively, and show the world how great we are. So here we go. Black History Month every year they gotta remind us about the fact that we couldn’t vote, they meaning white supremacy construct, and I said that with the CT at the end, I knew what was I was talking about…Our minds are so much more infinite than what’s coming across TikTok or Instagram, what’s trying to influence our children and the next generation of who we are.”