He also appears to be done with science, as he spoke at length with Forbes about his fear of vaccines, his dreams of a Black Panther-inspired “Wakanda” presidency and his supposed battle with the Devil in service of God. He also claimed that he had COVID-19 in February and that he is praying for God to cure it.
He also said he’d be extremely cautious about a coronavirus vaccine because it contains “chips” and “the mark of the beast” — an apparent reference to two baseless conspiracy theories.
“I’m not crazy,” he told the publication in a wide-ranging, disjointed interview about his presidential bid. “God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time.”
West announced in the interview that he no longer considers himself one of Trump’s supporters, many of whom signal their allegiance by wearing red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats.
“I’m taking the red hat off with this interview,” he told Forbes. “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life, I’m doing (this) to win.”
West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, have visited the White House during Trump’s tenure, and both have reaped the benefits of his presidency. Kardashian West successfully lobbied Trump in 2018 to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great grandmother who was imprisoned for drug trafficking. She later pressed him to intervene on behalf of A$AP Rocky when the musician was convicted of assault in Sweden last year.
More recently, Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion line received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million this year under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is meant to provide relief for small businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdowns.
West announced his bid for the presidency on Twitter last week, drawing a flurry of attention and an endorsement — at least in tweet form — from SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. West says they’ve been talking about the idea for “years” and that Musk would be the head of his space program.
The singer told Forbes that he will start his own party to take on Trump, who is the Republican incumbent, and Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic challenger.
His running mate will be Michelle Tidball, a Wyoming preacher, and they’ll be running for the Birthday Party.
“When we win, it’s everybody’s birthday,” he said. He added that his campaign slogan is “YES.”
Tidball, 57, lives in Cody, Wyo., where West has a ranch, Forbes reports. She claims on her website to have “various degrees in mental health and criminal justice” and 10 years of experience as a “mental health therapist.”
West says he’s never voted before, but he’ll do so for the first time in Cody this year.
He added that he’s fine with potentially splitting the Black vote for Biden, even if it helps Trump in the election.
“I’m not denying it,” he told Forbes. “To say the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”
The billionaire admitted he doesn’t know much about certain issues, such as taxes, so he’d enlist “the strongest experts that serve God” for help in those areas if he became president.
“I have the earplug in and I’m going to use that earplug,” he said, while seemingly still talking about taxes.
He also backed away from the notion of developing a “policy” on anything, saying that he’d prefer to take a design-oriented approach like he did with his Yeezy shoes.
West said he’d take his cues from Wakanda, the fictional, futuristic African nation in Marvel’s Black Panther film, in setting up his administration.
“I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House,” he said. “That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one 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.”
He then went off on a tangent about how Black Panther put on his futuristic shoes in the movie.
“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 … there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.”
In terms of health, West vowed to “clean up the chemicals” in things like deodorant and toothpaste, which he claims “affect our ability to be of service to God.”
He also claimed, without evidence, that Planned Parenthood had been “placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”
The entertainer told Forbes that he got the idea to run for president in the shower while writing a rap in his head.
Looking ahead to the November election, West says he has only one message for his opponents.
“I gracefully suggest y’all bow out,” he said. “Trump and Biden, gracefully bow out.”
To read the Kanye West interview in its entirety, head on over to Forbes.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.