Kanye West is opening up about his decision to run for president, his ideas for his future society, his faith, and more, on a three-hour episode of the Joe Rogan Experience with Joe Rogan released on Saturday, October 24. The 43-year-old rapper and presidential candidate discussed his original presidential candidacy announcement in 2015 and people’s reactions.
Although West officially announced he was running for President of the United States on July 4 of this year, he previously mentioned it in 2015. While accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, West declared he was going to run for president in 2020. Someone in the audience screamed “Kanye for president!” and he replied, “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
Shortly after telling the world his future intentions, West explained he got lots of critical feedback. While talking about what his friends were saying to him after his announcement, West brought up a story about running into Oprah Winfrey a few days after the awards. “I remember running into Oprah two days or one day after that, and she’s like you don’t want to be president,” West said on the Joe Rogan Experience.
Rogan then asked him to elaborate on his run-in with Oprah. “One of the things Oprah said is she said, ‘you got to bone up on your foreign affairs.’ I remember this, because it’s Oprah talking, so I’m gonna remember a lot of what the conversation was, but that’s the first thing she said was foreign affairs and foreign policies.”
Kanye West Explained His Intentions Behind Running for President
When Joe Rogan asked what made Kanye West decide to run for President of the United States, he opened up about his various callings. “It was something God put on my heart back in 2015 a few days before the MTV Video Awards,” he said on the Joe Rogan Experience on October 24. “It hit me in the shower, and when I first thought of it I just started laughing to myself, and all this joy came over my body.”
After he made the announcement five years ago, “people were just like, oh their minds were blown,” West said. The rapper added that, “They just really took it as a joke, they’re telling me all these millions of reasons why I couldn’t run for president.”
To West, running for president was never a joke to him and he’s seen it as his calling. “I believe my calling is to be the leader of the free world,” he said. “God is calling me to take this position.” Rogan joked that he could be the governor of California, and West responded that it, “is an idea that people have thrown out at me to be governor of California.”
President Donald Trump – not being a prior politician – inspired West to run for president. “When I saw Trump win, I was like, see you can win if you’re coming from outside of politics,” he said on the podcast. When Rogan asked what would make him different from other politicians, West said, “I manifest, I see things, I’m a great leader, because I listen, and I’m empathetic, and I feel the entire earth, and I feel us as a species as the human race. Sometimes people think a utopia as almost a negative word like we couldn’t have that, but I do believe in world peace.”
Kanye West Opened up About Having COVID-19
Kanye West himself admitted that he contracted COVID-19 in July. “Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it,” West told Forbes in terms of symptoms. “I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!” Drake went on Instagram Live in mid-March to share that he tested negative for the virus.
On the Joe Rogan Experience, West explained that part of the reason he didn’t make the ballot in every state was because of the virus. “Why did I register so late to run for president?” he said. “COVID. I remember I had the virus, and I was sitting quarantined in my house, and my cousin texted me about being prepared to run for president, and I just completely put it off to the side, because I was shivering and having the shakes and taking hot showers and eating soup and just sleeping.” Rogan interrupted asking, “How bad did you have it?” West responded, “I don’t think it was that bad, I think it was a mild case. It threw everyone off, it threw everybody’s plans off.”