All the latest as Kanye West announces he's running for the American presidency; review of his new song 'Wash Us In The Blood'.
On Saturday the Fourth of July, as Americans celebrated Independence Day, rapper and producer Kanye West declared he was running for the 2020 presidency.
Whether President Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Joe Biden have serious competition on their hands is still up for debate, though.
Lets take a look at the information we know already.
Kanye's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
On Saturday evening Kanye West tweeted (below) his intentions to run in November.
He hasn’t given himself much time, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be running with the backing of a smaller political party or as an independent.
According to BBC News, Kanye West hasn’t yet registered his name with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). He’s missed the deadline to register in 102 of the 538 Electoral College voting areas, with registration already passed for New York, Texas, Maine, New Mexico, Indiana and North Carolina.
The closest name found on the FEC database is a 2015 Green Party candidate called ‘Kanye Deez Nutz West’, who ‘apparantly’ lives at the address ‘1977 Golddigger Avenue, Suite Yeezys’. Somehow questions remain whether this is the same guy…
Good news though, technically there’s still time for Kanye to register. He would need to hire staff or recruit volunteers to gather the thousands of signatures required before registration ends in August and September.
Kanye on the campaign trail
The key to running a successful presidential campaign is money (Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign cost over $1 billion) but cashflow is no issue for the bold Kanye.
Soon after Kanye West’s announcement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk (above) showed his support for Kanye West’s candidacy announcement. The tech entrepreneur is worth a mere $46.3 billion, a handy ally to have on your side to fund a campaign!
However, whilst money is no issue, questions need to be asked whether he has the stomach for the fight late in the day. A campaign would involve extensive travel across America, endless (and expensive) TV and radio advertisements, media appearances and so much more.
Getting the right number of signatures in time may also be a challenge. David Morgan, vice-chair of the American Politics Group estimates he’d need 700,000 signatures in California alone.
But with 29.6 million followers on Twitter, on top of Kim’s 65 million followers (and 178 million Instagram followers...), it’s clear his fame and popularity would give him a big advantage.
Hasn’t Kanye done all this before?
Kinda, yeah. At the MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards, Kanye West accepted the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award from ‘friend’ Taylor Swift and finished his long winded speech by declaring ‘…and yes, as you probably could’ve guessed…I have decided to, in 2020, run for President!’.
Mic drop, #kanye2020 is born. Then it all went quiet....
For a while, Kanye then backed current President Donald Trump, visiting him in the Oval Office in October 2018. He declared to Trump that wearing a MAGA hat ‘made him feel like Superman’.
To say that this visit didn’t go down well in the Hip Hop world would be an understatement and he recently spoke about the backlash he'd received for supporting Trump.
Last year, Kanye again hinted that he’d be running but this time in 2024. Over the weekend, Kanye contradicted his earlier timeframe and here we are.
Many suspect a publicity stunt. If it’s a genuine announcement, it definitely won’t be easy for Yeezy.
New Kanye track: Wash Us In The Blood feat. Travis Scott
On Tuesday 30 June, Kanye West released ‘Wash Us In The Blood’, the lead single from forthcoming new album God’s Country.
Throughout the new single, Kanye requests for the world to be cleansed of sins through the blood of Christ, repeatedly asking for Christ’s blood to rain down and also touching upon the deceptive ways of the devil.
Yeezy draws upon politics and social commentary, questioning the morality of the death penalty, the mass incarceration rates in America (which are by far the highest in the world) and how many African-Americans are drawn into a life of crime.
Within the final verse, which are amongst the best in the song, he addresses his Bipolar condition and the criticism he receives for his eccentric behaviour.
They don't want me to Kanye
They don't want Kanye to be Kanye
They wanna sign a fake Kanye
They tryna sign a calm 'Ye
That's right I call him Calm-Ye
The verdict? It’s dark and hard hitting, and the unsettling images in the video itself are very topical. Despite it's aggressive and eerie sound, it's an enjoyable listen that hits you from first listen.
Kanye divides opinion but he’s still able to release thought provoking songs with great production, dealing with a number of themes and memorable lines.
Whether 'future' President Kanye West will be making music for much longer remains to be seen, lets enjoy him before he takes the oath of office.