Forget running the music industry—Kanye West wants to run the United States of America. At least that’s what he said in front of millions of viewers when he accepted his Michael Jackson Video Vanguard trophy at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 30.
After going off on a strange, albeit poignant, 12-minute rant about the business, fatherhood, protecting artistry, the hypocritical media, ridiculous award shows, and getting high before coming on stage, Kanye West, 38, concluded his speech with the following statement: “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” He then dropped the mic and walked off stage.
Whether or not he’s serious, one thing’s for sure—West knows how to create a stir. And it took no time at all for the so-called news of candidacy to spread on social media. Even his sister-in-law, Khloe Kardashian, posted a picture on her Instagram account of the rapper in front of the American flag (although it was backwards) with the words “Mr. West for President” along the bottom.
It’s still debatable if West is actually in fact serious about entering the race. On the one hand, if anyone were to attempt that inconceivable transition from music to politics, it would be Kanye West. But on the other hand, his now highly-publicized speech sounds more like the makings of a perfectly orchestrated marketing ploy—the theme of a new album or tour, perhaps? In any case, he’s certainly got people’s attention.
Cox, J., “VMA 2015: Kanye West says he’s running for president in 2020,” The Verge web site, August 30, 2015.