Everyone was in for an explosive surprise on the night of Fourth of July this year, and it was not just the fireworks. On July 4, Kanye West took to Twitter to announce his plans to run for the Oval Office. So, is Kanye West really running for president in 2020 this late in the game? Here's what we know.
It's not the first time the rapper and fashion designer has shared his White House aspirations, first announcing he'd run for president during a speech at the MTV Video Music Awards back in 2015. While his announcement didn't come to anything, he's followed up on that assertion as recently as November 2019 by saying he'd be on ballots in 2024. On Saturday, July 4, the "Power" hitmaker took to Twitter to claim he'd be facing off against President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 race this fall.
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," he wrote. "I am running for president of the United States!" He added the hashtag #2020VISION.
Considering West's track record, it's hard to know exactly how seriously fans should take the announcement. According to the BBC, the rapper — who told the crowd that he was thinking of changing his name to "Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West" at Fast Company's Innovation Festival back in November — has not completed the required Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing yet to actually be an official presidential candidate.
There's also the fact that West has been outspoken about his support of President Trump over the past few years. Back in 2018, the rapper made an appearance at the White House with a "Make America Great Again" hat on, during which he hugged the president and at one point said "I love this guy right here." However, he's since walked back his praise of the POTUS, tweeting later in 2018, "My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative."
Since West announced his 2020 run on July 4, his wife Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk have both publicly endorsed him. The Tesla entrepreneur tweeted, "You have my full support" on Saturday night, and West's wife retweeted his message and added an American flag emoji.
Only time will tell whether the "Gold Digger" hitmaker actually decides to go through with his presidential run this year or, as many fans believe, it's an attempt to drum up publicity for his upcoming album God's Country. However, it wouldn't be surprising if 'Ye decides to get more vocal about his political views once again leading up to the 2020 election after staying relatively silent for the past couple of years.