Kanye West isn’t the type of guy to shy away from controversy. Some might argue that he wears it like a badge, a nod to his influence in the realm of music and today’s culture. His reputation precedes him, but very few expected what he planned on pursuing next. Before this, West was a known Trump-supporter, which many criticized him for. So why is he running against Trump now and what changed over the past few years?
Kanye West and President Donald Trump: A Brief Timeline of their Friendship
The very public relationship between Kanye West and President Trump lasted for years. The artist has even sported a red MAGA hat, symbolizing his support of President Trump’s governance. His actions inevitably drew backlash, but West never wavered. Instead, he went on to defend his mostly positive opinion of Trump. Now that their friendship has seemingly dissolved, however, let’s look at how their association began in the first place to better understand the reason why it ended.
2015: Kanye West for President
In a 13-minute speech given during his acceptance of the MTV VMA’s Video Vanguard Award, Kanye West first shared his plans to run for the 2020 presidential seat. To this, President Trump told Rolling Stone Magazine, “…he’s actually a different kind of person than people think. He’s a nice guy. I hope to run against him someday.”
West certainly gave a convincing pitch. As per The Guardian, West said, “It’s not about me. It’s about ideas. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for President.”
2016: Hilary Clinton vs. Donald Trump
He might have planned on running against President Trump, but West also once said that had he voted during the 2016 elections, he would have chosen Trump over Hilary Clinton. So what did Kim Kardashian think?
Upon posting, the tweet has since gone viral, but it is a fitting response to the mounting backlash following her husband’s open support of a Trump-led administration. Despite this, West and Trump would later schedule a meeting with each other. According to a New York Times report, it was Kanye West who personally requested for it.
The rapper shared what happened during the encounter with his fans, including their discussions about life and multi-cultural issues. As BBC shares, however, these tweets have since been deleted.
2018: Kanye West Calls President Donald Trump “Brother”
West’s individuality is certainly praise-worthy. The artist has always marched to his own drum when it comes to music, his fashion, and his beliefs. Nonetheless, his unwavering support of President Donald Trump rubbed many people the wrong way—including some of his own friends. In a tweet describing the brotherhood between him and Trump, West wrote:
His fans and friends responded with a mixture of support and criticism. John Legend, a renowned singer and friend of West’s, reportedly urged the rapper to reconsider his stance.
2018: The Red MAGA Hat
How can something as simple as wearing a red hat create such uproar among people? It’s because the hat that Kanye West wore bore the slogan “Make America Great Again”, which is Trump’s signature statement. The two met for a second time and in front of Trump Supporters, as well as a throng of media people, they discussed various societal issues. These include prison reform, mental health, and welfare.
West also gave audiences a 10-minute long monologue, to which Trump replied with a succinct, “That was quite something.” Their meeting was closed with a confirmation from the rapper that he will be voting this time around. His vote, of course, was obvious.
Fourth of July 2020: Kanye West Ends Things with President Donald Trump
In true Kanye West fashion, the artist announced his bid for the presidency on Twitter. This was followed by replies from his wife, Kim Kardashian, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The CEO gave his full support, but was reported to be reconsidering upon realizing some differences in their opinions. This includes West’s stance as an anti-vaccination and anti-abortion advocate. However, Musk has since deleted the tweet pertaining to this, according to Dazed Digital.
So what is West’s platform now? According to his tweet, “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States.” His statement was aptly ended with an emoji of the American flag. West confirms that through his Forbes interview, he is symbolically “taking the red hat off.”
As for the reason he’s no longer a fan of the Trump administration? A loss of confidence. West now believes that everything “looks like one big mess.”
What We Know So Far About Kanye West’s Bid for the White House Seat
It hasn’t been long since West dropped the news, but the artist has been making a number of decisive moves towards his presidential goal. Many still doubt the legitimacy of his claims, however, with some pointing out the fact that West might only be trying to generate hype for his current projects. He has plenty in the works after all. From the Yeezy and Gap partnership, his television show with Kid Cudi, to his new single “Wash Us in the Blood”—all these could very well be steps towards an ingenious marketing strategy on his part.
Still, West denies that it is all a publicity stunt.
He has also already missed the deadline to file his bid for six states. The cut-off for six more states is also approaching swiftly, giving him only until the end of the month. Among those states close to cut-off? New York and Texas, which comprise more than a third of the votes West would need to secure if he wants to stand a chance of winning.
With these factors in mind, here’s what we know so far:
- Kanye West is running under a new banner, the Birthday Party, and is receiving guidance from Elon Musk.
- The rapper has already chosen his vice-presidential candidate, a preacher from Wyoming named Michelle Tidball.
- West doesn’t mind dividing the votes when it comes to the current Democratic nominee, which actually helps boost the possibility of another Trump win.
- West has never voted in his life.
- He thinks vaccines are “the mark of the beast.”
- West also believes that white supremacists placed Planned Parenthood inside cities in order to do the “Devil’s work.”
- His vision for the White House under his administration? It will be based on the fictional country of Wakanda, as featured in Black Panther.
- Lastly, he only has 30 days to finalize his decision about running for president.
There isn’t much time left for Kanye West to make things happen, but that doesn’t dampen his spirit. To quote his Forbes interview, “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life, I’m doing it to win.” Of course, as we all know, it takes more than just a winning mindset in order to secure the highest government position in the land.
While good intentions can carry him a long way, there’s a lot that goes into governing one of the most powerful countries in the world. How capable is he when it comes to handling various global issues? Citing the same Forbes interview, here’s what Kanye West has to say about his being a newbie in politics:
“I have to say with all humility that as a man, I don’t have all of the pieces in the puzzle. As I speak to you for what a political campaign—a political walk, as I told you, because I’m not running, I’m walking. I’m not running, we the people are walking. We’re not running anymore, we’re not running, we’re not excited—we are energized. Someone can say, ‘Hey, I got a brand new car for you, it’s across the street,’ and you get so excited you run across the street and get hit by a car trying to run to your new car. That’s how they control the Black community, through emotions, they get us excited, we’re so excited, but then for 400 years the change doesn’t truly happen.”
Kim Kardashian’s Thoughts on Kanye West’s Presidential Bid
Kardashian has always been very supportive of her husband’s endeavors, even coming to his defense whenever necessary. The celebrity entrepreneur is also the first to clear the air when it comes to any misunderstandings that occur due to West’s often controversial statements and tweets.
Even if Kardashian has expressed her support, no one knows what happens behind the scenes. Some reports do suggest that the couple have always had plans for entering politics — just not this soon. Kardashian is also said to be worried over West’s recent statements and believes he may have ruined things for them.
The pair have always collaborated on various projects and are openly supportive of each other. They are parents to four children, and much like other parents, it’s clear that both Kardashian and West only want the best for their kids. Any parent would understand the need to build a better world for their children, after all.
What We Know About Kanye West’s Vice-Presidential Candidate: Michelle Tidball
What about West’s running mate, Michelle Tidball? Much like the rapper, Tidball is a political novice as well. The 57-year old preacher currently runs her own bible study program, Abundant Ministries. According to her biography, she has different degrees in criminal justice and mental health. Tidball has also worked as a therapist for over a decade, before she switched to life coaching.
She also served the nonprofit Bright Futures Mentoring Program as executive director.
Is This The End for the West and Trump Partnership?
This remains unclear for many as well. West does insist that he has lost confidence in the Trump administration. He also criticizes the way Trump hid in a bunker during the Black Lives Matters protests that swept the nation. That is the extent of what he has to say about the current president, however.
In his Forbes interview, West goes on to say, “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.”
People are still divided over what Kanye West’s real agenda is behind this presidential bid, but many do believe it is no more than a ruse to take away votes for Joe Biden 2020 and help Trump secure the presidency once more. In this case, we would all simply have to wait for what happens next and hope that everything works out for the best.