Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West appears to be seriously mulling over the idea of running for president in 2020, telling the BBC in an interview this weekend that while he’s not a politically-inclined person, he does have views on how to better humanity.
In an interview with Radio 1’s Annie Mac, the “Famous” rapper reiterated his intention to run for the White House in 2020, a decision he first announced at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.
“We are numb,” West told Mac in an excerpt from the interview, scheduled to air in full on Monday evening. “We’re numb to 500 kids getting killed in Chicago a year, we’re numb to the fact that it was seven police shootings in the beginning of July.”
“When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views. I don’t have views on politics,” West added. “I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there is anything I can do with my time and my day to somehow make a difference while I’m alive, I’m going to try to do it.”
West’s announcement last year that he intended to run for president caused such a stir that “Kanye for President” merchandise began popping up almost immediately after his VMAs speech, while the Democrats said they would be happy to welcome West into their party.
During a fundraising tour of California in October, President Obama offered advice to West on a potential presidential run.
“You’ve got to deal with strange characters who behave as if they are on a reality TV show, so you gotta be cool with that. Saying you have a beautiful dark twisted fantasy — that’s what’s known as off-message in politics,” Obama joked. “Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the south side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the U.S.? That is crazy. That’s cray.”
In an interview last year with Vanity Fair, West said that his announcement for the presidency changed the public’s perception of him for the better.
“It was like, ‘Wait a second, we would really be into that, because actually if you think about it, he’s extremely thoughtful. Every time he’s ever gotten in trouble, he was really jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. He’s probably the most honest celebrity that we have,'” West told the magazine.
In his interview with Mac on Monday, West also discussed his memorable headlining performance at Glastonbury last year, which he said put him into a “slightly depressed state,” and said he wants to collaborate with Swedish furniture giant IKEA on a range of home products.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum