Rapper and husband to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, announced via Twitter on July 4, 2020, that he was running for president. To be precise, West tweeted, “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,” followed by the hashtag, “#2020vision.”
The tweet got a quick response from Tesla mogul, Elon Musk, who replied, “You have my full support!”
West’s announcement wasn’t too shocking for several reasons, one being his lengthy history of teasing presidential runs. Take the 2015 MTV VMAs, for instance, when he announced, per Billboard, “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided, in 2020, to run for president.”
Then, of course, there was West’s famous visit to the White House in October 2018, when the rapper donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and met with President Donald Trump. “Trump is on his hero’s journey right now,” the rapper gushed at the time, per BuzzFeed News.
With the MAGA hat and Oval Office visits, it seemed apparent West was a fan of Trump. However, in a July 8, 2020, interview with Forbes, the Georgia native withdrew his support. So what happened?
Kanye West is 'taking the red hat off'
Just when it seemed like President Donald Trump and Kanye West were not only friends but political allies, the rapper told Forbes he no longer supports Trump. West declared, “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview,” a reference to his past fondness for the red MAGA hat.
So, what changed West’s mind? “It looks like one big mess to me,” the dad-of-four said about his disappointment. He added, “I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.”
West is referring to the incident that took on May 29, 2020, amid protests outside of the White House. The Secret Service reportedly believed there was cause for concern and, so Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, relocated to an underground bunker for their safety, sources alleged to CNN. However, Trump shared a different tale, claiming during a radio interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade that the bunker visit was for informational purposes. “They [Secret Service] said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it,” he said, per CBS News.
Although West is no longer pro-Trump, he still had positive things to say about his supposed religious ideals. “Trump is the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation,” he declared.
Why did Kanye West initially support Trump?
In the interview with Forbes, Kanye West explained why he wore the MAGA hat initially and the logic behind his 2018 visit to the Oval Office. “One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community,” he explained. “Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.” Um.
As for what West meant about “the segregation of votes in the Black community”? The rapper went on to share his personal belief that Black voters feel pressure to side with the Democratic party. West argued, “That 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.”
West alleged, “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.”
As we expand on below, it’s possible West was referring to a comment former Vice President Joe Biden made during a May 2020 interview with The Breakfast Club.
What Kanye West really thinks about Joe Biden
As Kanye West told Forbes, he believes members of the Democratic party are threatening Black voters “to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
Although West didn’t explicitly name anyone in the interview, he might be referring to a May 2020 interview Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had with The Breakfast Club‘s Charlamagne tha God. Biden was discussing voters choosing between himself and President Donald Trump when the presidential hopeful said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black.”
Subsequently, West didn’t have positive things to say about Biden at all. Some might even say West was arguably glib in his criticism of the presumptive Democratic nominee. “I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way,” he told Forbes. “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.”
For those who want to relive more eyebrow-raising quotes from the rapper, don’t miss our look back at the wildest Kanye interviews ever.
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