Kanye West has spoken about his recent political musings in a new song, taking a victory lap on Life of Pablo track Hey Mama. The rapper starts the song by detailing the media storm caused by his declaration that he would run for president in 2020.
“I’mma run for president … Fucking Donald Trump,” he raps in the song. West said during an interview with the New York Times that he wants to be president “because I love my people” and mentioned Trump several times in the same interview. “I think one of the greatest decisions that he made is knowing that he could run for office and still maintain his brand,” he said. “Now when people get on TV … you’re still the ‘him’, no matter who you’re talking to. So it’s like you get so many people that will be like, ‘Yo, I’m the Kanye of this place.’ And he was like, ‘We’re just doing a game for you.’”
The news spurred a media frenzy, including a request by NBC for a response from West’s spouse, Kim Kardashian. “I asked him, ‘What are you going to say? You’re Kim’s husband,’” she told her Instagram followers after hearing of his presidential aspirations. West reportedly responded, “Just think if I’m elected president, we’ll make America great again.” Kardashian further explains in the song that she has fought with her husband throughout their relationship over how to spend Thanksgiving with their children, “so many bad memories”.
In response to the media storm and attack on his family, West sings, “I ain’t the president / I ain’t the president / No I ain’t the president,” before listing his past political projects and saying he plans to donate “millions” of dollars to the “fears and future” of his audience. Kanye also said that his upcoming announcement would “probably” be the “earliest I can say”, without giving a specific date.
In his New York Times interview, West also rapped about Donald Trump in other songs, though he was mostly careful not to make critical statements. He said he supported him in the first debates despite not supporting his policies, in part because he was interested in “how [the billionaire businessman] actually lives”. However, West said, “the policies and the purpose of his being president – none of that has changed.”
West’s announcement that he wants to run for president prompted a series of celebrities to say that they would not vote for him. Jay-Z responded to West on Twitter, saying, “Friends don’t let friends run for president.” Stephen Colbert, Dave Chappelle and actor Danny Glover also spoke out against his nomination. West was criticized for remarks about slavery in 2016, when he claimed in a much-discussed interview with TMZ that black people “could have” “the best of both worlds”.