In case we all forgot, Kanye West still has political aspirations to run for the highest office in the nation. It’s not the first time he’s made his ambitions known. In 2015, Ye announced he wanted to take a shot at running for president in 2020 during his acceptance speech at the 2015 MTV VMA Awards. He made sure to remind everyone he’s still serious about running for office but is eyeing the 2024 election instead.
The multi-hyphenate was at Fast Company’s fifth annual Innovation Festival this past Thursday (Nov. 8) where he was joined by Yeezy shoe designer Stephen Smith to discuss the sneaker brand, or as Ye dubbed it, the “Apple” of apparel. As they were discussing plans to expand the brand, implement sustainable business practices and bring manufacturing jobs back to America, Kanye veered the conversation off topic.
“When I run for president in 2024,” West began before the audience broke into laughter, prompting Kanye to sharply ask “What y'all laughing at?” After a brief and awkward pause, he continued his train of thought.
“When I run for president in 2024, we [would create] so many jobs, that I'm not gonna run I'm gonna walk,” he said. “What I'm saying is, when you all read the headlines, [it’s] ‘Kanye's crazy,’ [and] this and that. It's like one in three African Americans are in jail and all the celebrities are in jail also 'cause they can't say nothin'. They got no opinion. They're so scared. Even after this, I'm gonna get in the car and be like how I felt at the telethon after saying George Bush don’t care about Black people.”
As he was about to keep going, the moderator cut him off to get the discussion back on track. At a later point in the interview, Kanye compared being criticized in the media to the murder of Civil Rights activist and icon Martin Luther King Jr. To illustrate his point, he brought up Forbes not naming him a billionaire.
“Martin Luther King didn't get killed because of ‘I have a dream.’ He had something else he was gonna talk about: Black empowerment. Economic empowerment. When I did the Forbes and I showed him a 890 million-dollar receipt, and they still didn't say billionaire, they don't want us to know that we can buy land. They don't want us to have the 100% ownership...I have 100% ownership at Yeezy...and the reason I say these things out loud in this way is so I won't be killed. I said it out loud already but last year, I was killed by the press...for having an opinion.”
From there, Ye jumped around from a failed deal with Louis Vuitton to prison reform before he proclaimed he might also change his name to “Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West.”
While it’s not clear if he was joking, it would certainly be quite the choice among other controversial decisions he’s made over the years.
Watch the rest of the interview to see what else Kanye had to say about prison reform, Yeezys, and the media.
(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company)