Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, this year has always managed to find a way to surpass itself.
While it looked as if the upcoming American presidential election looked set to be a two-horse race between current President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden, Kanye West managed to blindside us all by announcing his last minute bid for the White House.
The news shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to us, with the rapper having previously stated an interest in running for High Office; a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair saw the 43-year-old say he was considering campaigning for the 2020 election.
He then reaffirmed his desires during a 2019 radio interview with Zane Lowe, however suggested he would run in 2024. A later appearance in December last year, in which West said he was going to move manufacturing of his Yeezy fashion brand to the States, saw the star suggest a presidential run would be a piece of cake.
“When I run for president in 2024, we would’ve created so many jobs that I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk,” he said at the time.
But it seems the Golddigger singer has brought his plans forward by a good four years, having just squeaked the deadline to be a candidate in the 2020 election – which is set to be an extremely close call as it is.
Here’s the story so far behind West’s presidential bid…
1. Kanye West announces he’s running for President… on Twitter
Following several months of silence on Twitter, West returned to announced fashion brand Yeezy’s partnership with affordable clothing brand Gap and the start of ‘Yeezy Season 8.’ After sending shout-outs promoting latest track Ego Death with Ty Dolla $ign, congratulating his wife on becoming a billionaire, and posting a photo with Elon Musk, West announced his presidential run on 4th July – American Independence Day.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” he wrote. “I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION.”
West’s wife of six years, social media and reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West endorsed the announcement by retweeting the news to her 65.7 million followers.
Other high-profile supporters include billionaire technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who replied to the tweet saying West had “his full support.”
2. But not everyone took his announcement seriously
The news sent ripples around social media, with some speculating it was all a ruse for West to gain publicity for his new album, while others believed he hadn’t actually filled out any proper paperwork for the bid.
Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am dismissed West’s announcement.
“It’s a dangerous thing to be playing with,” he told The Mirror. “If you’re not serious, you don’t play with that, especially now.
“Like what the f***, seriously, I don’t even know what like community service you do.”
Elsewhere, Sharon Osbourne described West as “embarrassing” on daytime magazine programme The Talk for having receiving a government loan to avoid layoffs at Yeezy during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I just think that when you have that sort of cash, it’s embarrassing to ask when you have it yourself. You have it, you have more than enough to keep 100 people going, so why ask the government, take from the government?” she said.
“I just don’t get that. When you are so wealthy, your family, everybody in your family is so wealthy, why are you doing this? I think he should give the money back.”
3. His Forbes interview only furrowed more brows
The revealing exchange between West and Forbes saw the rapper make a number of revelations, including how Musk was to be in charge of his space program should he win, how his wife was one of his main advisers and that his White House organisational model would be based on the country of Wakanda in Black Panther.
He also claimed he had been sick with Covid-19 in February, Planned Parenthood “have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work” and that vaccines are “the mark of the beast.”
Explaining why he was running under the guise of The Birthday Party, West said: “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.”
4. Kim Kardashian-West has her own concerns
While she initially backed her husband’s announcement, sources close to the Kardashian family said she’s “stressed” about a potential move to Washington.
“Kim isn’t at all concerned what the public thinks about Kanye, but of course his actions are making her a little stressed though that doesn’t mean she won’t try to understand and support him,” the insider revealed to Hollywood Life. “She will continue to support him no matter what he ever does or says.
“She is never one to stray and will always stand by his side. She’s letting him do all of the talking and will just be there to support him whatever he needs.”
The insider continued: “Deep down Kim isn’t taking this seriously. She knows she’s not going to be The First Lady. It’s just stressful because it’s getting so much attention and she knows it’s not really going anywhere.”
However, Kim has previously channelled First Lady vibe, having posed as Jackie Kennedy for Interview magazine in 2017.
5. Kanye West ‘drops out’ the race… for a bit
Less than two weeks after he announced his presidential bid, a member of West’s campaign team, Steve Kramer, unceremoniously said the rapper was “out” the race, and was now in the process of cancelling events.
“I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye,” Kramer said to New York Magazine’s The Intelligencer.
“Everyone has their personal decision about why they make decisions. Running for president has to be one of the hardest things for someone to actually contemplate at that level.”
However, it seems West has had second thoughts, after filing a Statement of Candidacy which identifies him as an official candidate – despite failing to register in time for a number of key states.
6. Caitlyn Jenner offers to be Kanye West’s running mate
Having previously selected Wyoming preacher Michelle Tidball to be his VP should he get into power, West has had another offer – from Caitlyn Jenner. The pair are close, as West is her stepson-in-law.
Approached by TMZ, who asked whether former Republican Jenner would be supporting West in the upcoming election, Jenner responded: “Oh, I texted him and said, ‘Can I be your VP?’”
“What a combination.”
7. Kanye West sees himself on Mount Rushmore
He simply captioned the photo of the South Dakota landmark: “2020.”
With national polls indicating West would only secure around 2 per cent of the vote, it doesn’t look likely West will be heading to the White House this year – but stranger, and more unexpected things have happened during elections…