Rapper, designer and former Trump supporter, Kanye West launched a surprise campaign for November’s presidential elections on Sunday, July 19th. During the rally, Ye broke down in tears with an emotional outburst and rambling speech.
Packed with “registered guests only,” the event was held in a small room before what appeared to be a couple of hundred people. Due to our current global pandemic, all attendees were asked to sign a COVID-19 liability release form, implement social distancing, and wear a mask.
Exactly two weeks ago, on the Fourth Of July, West took to Twitter to announce his involvement in the presidential race. Politico reports that West filed an official statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last week using The Birthday Campaign (BDY) as his political party affiliation.
Although Kanye hasn’t unveiled any virtual details in regards to his political campaign, the hip-hop star and entrepreneur who has famously wore a “Make America Great Again” cap in a meeting with President Donald Trump, states he is no longer supporting the president.
With “2020” shaved on the back of his head and wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest with the wording “SECURITY”, West sounded off on multiple topics. During his rambling speech at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston, South Carolina, Yeezy’s topics ranged from social media to religion to his Adidas deal and even Harriet Tubman.
At one point as he was talking on economic inequality, Kanye says: “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people…”
At various points of the rally, reactions from the crowd ranged from sympathy to disgust after West’s comments about Tubman. Harriett Tubman, is credited for freeing hundreds of slaves via the “Underground Railroad.” One crowd member groaned “Come on, man,” while a woman can be heard saying “Okay we’re leaving now.”
Kicking off the rally, Kanye demanded “absolute silence and absolute order” asking audience members to point out anyone they heard talking. At one point of his speech he scolded the crowd for clapping. Also, for unclear reasons Ye had another audience member escorted out. After getting into a heated exchange with a young woman, he invited her on stage to speak, although her comments were inaudible for the most part.
West also shockingly shared with the audience about how him and his wife, Kim Kardashian, discussed wanting to get an abortion when she was pregnant with their oldest daughter, North. He then went on to reveal that his father also had wanted to abort him.
“My dad wanted to abort me. My mum saved my life. There would’ve been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” West said, bursting into tears before later shouting,
“I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter!”
YouTube live streamed West’s speech and soon after clips went viral all over the internet showcasing confusion, anger and concern for the musician’s mental health. Judging by the reactions on social media, the concerns about West’s mental health have escalated. In the past, Kanye has frequently talked about being bipolar and not taking his medications. In late 2016, he was reportedly hospitalized for stress and exhaustion and placed on psychiatric hold after several onstage rants during his “Saint Pablo” tour.
After many reports circulated this week about Kanye being a long-shot candidate and needing to drop out, many fans were surprised to see his commitment to running. According to Politico, he has not registered in any major voting polls. Even though West has been listed on the ballot in Oklahoma, it seems as though he’s missed the deadline to be added to the presidential ballot in several states. On behalf of getting petition signatures, Ye was able to get on the ballot in Oklahoma this week by paying a $35,000 fee before the cut-off deadline.
As the election quickly approaches we should be prepared to see more of Kanye in the forthcoming weeks. In time we will also find out more about whether or not this is a publicity stunt, a mental break, or if his intentions are genuine.