Kanye West has announced he's running for president in 2020. How serious is he? Though he's already missed the registration deadlines to be on the ballots of some states—and if he doesn't take the necessary steps in the next seven days, he could lose out on additional places like Florida and Michigan—West is still adamant on participating in the upcoming election.
In fact, he's already picked a vice presidential candidate, sought guidance from Elon Musk (who West proposed be the head of the U.S. space program, should he be elected) and declared his vision for the creation of a new political party.
More specifically, instead of running as a Democrat or Republican, Kanye would run under the new banner of what he called the "Birthday Party."
"Because when we win, it's everybody's birthday," Kanye said.
The rapper made these revelations in a sprawling new interview with Forbes, though his desire to become president is nothing new. According to West, he's had his candidacy in mind since the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.
"It's when I was being offered the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Awards at MTV," West told Forbes. "I remember being at my mom's house, my mother-in-law [Kris Jenner], 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."
West went on to outline his beliefs on everything from abortion to police brutality, and while he mostly stuck to politics, he also opened up about contracting coronavirus.
For all of the bombshells from West's interview, be sure to scroll through the quotes below.
1. On his COVID-19 experience:
"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! (laughs)"
2. On a potential COVID-19 vaccine:
"It's so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed...So when they say the way we're going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I'm extremely cautious. That's the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can't cross the gates of heaven. I'm sorry when I say they, the humans that have the Devil inside them. And the sad thing is that, the saddest thing is that we all won't make it to heaven, that there'll be some of us that do not make it. Next question."
3. On police brutality and George Floyd's death:
"One of my to-do lists is to end police brutality. The police are people too. To end laws that don't make sense. 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."
4. On his potential bid for the White House:
"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."
"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."
5. On Black Panther's inspiration for his management plans:
"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."
6. On other issues:
"I am pro-life because I'm following the word of the bible."
"I haven't done enough research on that yet. I will research that with the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution. And that will be my answer for anything that I haven't researched. I have the earplug in and I'm going to use that earplug."
"Thou shalt not kill. I'm against the death penalty."
"I haven't developed it yet. I'm focused on protecting America, first, with our great military. Let's focus on ourselves first."
Read the complete Forbes interview here.