Kanye West is moving forward with his plans to run for president.
In his first interview since announcing his bid for the White House on Saturday, the billionaire rap mogul opened up to Forbes about his intentions to run and win the 2020 presidential race against President Trump and Joe Biden.
During “four rambling hours of interviews,” West says he no longer supports Trump. “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview,” says Kanye, who registered to vote for the first time on Monday. “I would run as a Republican if Trump wasn’t there. I will run as an independent if Trump is there.”
He reveals his campaign slogan (“YES!”), his running mate (Michelle Tidball, an obscure preacher from Wyoming), and the name of his party–the Birthday Party (“Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday”).
His advisors include his wife Kim Kardashian-West and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but he credits God for inspiring his campaign. “God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time. You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I’m not crazy,” he said. “Now it’s time. And we’re not going crazy, we’re going Yeezy, it’s a whole ‘notha level now. N-O-T-H-A.”
He also criticizes the presumptive Democratic nominee. “This man, Joe Biden, said if you don’t vote for me, then you are not Black. Well, act like we didn’t hear that? We act like we didn’t hear that man say that? That man said that. It’s a rap. We gonna walk, all the people. JAY-Z said it best. For the other candidates, I just gracefully suggest y’all bow out–Trump and Biden, gracefully bow out. It’s God’s country, we are doing everything in service to God, nobody but God no more.”
Elsewhere, West says that he contracted the coronavirus in late February, but is skeptical of a vaccine. “It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed… So when they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious,” he says. “That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”
Read highlights from the interview below.
On Trump’s presidency: “It looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.”
On why he never voted in the past: “The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party. I was threatened as a celebrity into being in one party. I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
On potentially siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee: “I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”
On Biden: “I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama’s special. Trump’s special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.”
On abortion: “I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the bible.”
On police brutality: “One of my to-do lists is to end police brutality. The police are people too. To end laws that don’t make sense.”
On contracting COVID-19: “Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it. I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!”
On the coronavirus cure: “We pray. We pray for the freedom. It’s all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.”