kanye west wasn’t joking when he said he was running for president

In a recent interview, the rapper reflects that his aspirations are a response to growing public apathy over police violence.

by Wendy Syfret
|
01 August 2016, 3:45am

Image via Twitter

Last year when Kanye West was accepting the MTV Video Vanguard Award, he took the opportunity to announce he was running for president in 2020. It's hard to think of a more extreme statement a celebrity could make; and it really says something about Ye's intense and ubiquitous media presence that a year later we'd almost forgotten about it.

But as it turns out, for Kanye it was a very real promise. Speaking to BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac on the weekend, the rapper confirmed that he was — and is — very serious about his plans for office. Over the phone he explained his motivations weren't particularly political: "When I talk about the idea of being president, I'm not saying I have any political views, I don't have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth."

Referencing his hometown Chicago's history of police shootings, and the public's growing apathy towards these violent acts, he reasoned, "we're numb to places on the Earth that we don't live - like our life is okay but it's okay for other people's lives to not be okay." Finally adding: " If there is anything that I can do with my time and my day, to somehow make a difference while I'm alive I'm going to try to do it."

Although he's infamous for his more grandiose claims, his reflections on community responsibility and bringing an increased focus on individual lives into politics does resonate. A few years ago, one could comfortably pass these comments — however well intentioned — off as a fevered pipe dream. But considering one of the current US presidential nominees is a largely self-funded, celebrity candidate with no previous political experience, it's not totally unbelievable that Kanye could ultimately action his words.

Don't pretend President Yeezy doesn't have a nice ring to it. 

@kanyewest

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Text Wendy Syfret
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