This article was published by Areo Magazine on July 16th, 2020.
Kanye West, arguably the most influential figure in pop culture today, recently announced his intention of running for President of the United States this year. “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future”, he tweeted. I am running for president of the United States. This isn’t the first time that West has made such ambitions public. The rapper and producer has hinted at the possibility of running multiple times (usually for 2024). West is far from an unusual presence in the political sphere, and he is certainly no stranger to controversy. In 2016, he sent shockwaves through the left when he declared his support for Donald Trump, which culminated in his 2018 visit to the White House and the release of his single “Ye vs. the People,” in which he raps: “I know Obama was heaven-sent, but ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be president.” The single also features fellow black rapper Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.—known as T.I—who responds: “You representin’ dudes just seem crude and cold-hearted, with blatant disregard for the people who put you in position, don’t you feel an obligation to them?” This exchange highlights the fact that the Democratic establishment tends to take black people’s votes for granted. As Kanye puts it: “See that’s the problem with this damn nation, all Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.”