Kanye West announced on the Fourth of July that he plans to run for president in 2020 — potentially to make good on a promise he made five years before during the 2015 MTV VMAs.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West tweeted Saturday evening, along with the hashtag #2020VISION.
The announcement was quickly endorsed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who tweeted at the 43-year-old, “You have my full support!”
Having leaned more into politics in recent years, including a handful of meetings with Donald Trump, the announcement follows numerous statements by West in the past about his intentions to run for the highest office in the land — most recently last November at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. The difference with that announcement was his presidential sights were set on a 2024 bid.
“When I run for President in 2024,” West began, interrupted by an outbreak of laughter in the audience. “What y’all laughing at? We would create so many jobs! I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk. When you see headlines saying Kanye’s crazy — one in three African Americans are in jail and all the celebrities are in jail also because they can’t say nothing, they got no opinion, they’re so scared!”
West stunned viewers during the 2015 MTV VMAs when he announced a potential 2020 run after receiving the Video Vanguard Award from Taylor Swift. Later that year, he emphasized his intentions to run while at New York Fashion Week debuting the second season of his Yeezy clothing line.
It is unclear if West has filed any paperwork necessary to run for president this election year, which would mean he’d likely have to run as a write-in candidate. As of Saturday evening, the only candidate for president named Kanye West in the FEC database for the 2020 election year is a Green Party candidate named “Kanye Deez Nutz West.”