Rapper Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, has announced that he intends to run for U.S. president in 2024 in a series of campaign videos released late Thursday evening.
The move follows a previously failed presidential bid in 2020 that saw him garner a measly 60,000 votes.
In the first of his campaign videos, Ye claims he asked former president Donald Trump to be his running mate. Trump announced last week that he is also running for president in 2024 after a failed re-election campaign in 2020.
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Ye even polled his Twitter followers, asking what they thought Trump’s response was when the rapper asked him to be his vice-president.
In the video following the poll, titled “Mar-A-Lago Debrief,” Ye claims that his offer left the former president “perturbed.”
“Trump started basically screaming at me at the table, telling me I’m going to lose,” Ye said in the video.
“I mean, has that ever worked for anyone in history?” Ye added. “I’m like, hold on, hold on, hold on, Trump, you’re talking to Ye.”
Ye also said in the video that he believed Trump should have freed the people who were detained for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Ye also tweeted a text exchange that appears to show that alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulous and white nationalist Nick Fuentes have joined his campaign team. Each of their contacts in Ye’s phone has YE24 added, the tagline that the rapper has been using in all of his campaign videos.
Ye’s presidential bid comes on the heels of a slew of damaging scandals around the outspoken rapper and fashion designer.
He provoked outrage during Paris Fashion Week by wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “White Lives Matter,” a phrase that has been used by white supremacists to discount the Black Lives Matter movement.
While defending himself online, Ye made antisemitic comments that led to him being suspended from Twitter and Instagram.
Ye claimed that his critics were being paid by a secret cabal of Jewish people, a common antisemitic trope. The Guardian reported that, at one point, he said he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
The outrage that followed led Ye’s talent agency to drop him, and multiple fashion companies, including Adidas, Balenciaga and Gap, cut ties with him. The rapper later said that he lost “two billion dollars in one day” due to the economic blowback.
A day before announcing his presidential bid, Adidas stated that it was launching an investigation into Ye over allegations of harassment against employees who worked on his Yeezy shoe line. Adidas employees told Rolling Stone magazine that Ye used “mind games” to create a “toxic environment” in the company.
Ye is the second person to announce their 2024 presidential bid, behind Trump. It seems he wants to get an early start this election after announcing his 2020 campaign too late to appear on the ballot in several states.
In the end, Ye was only listed as a presidential candidate in 12 states in 2020 and held only one rally — in which he broke down while discussing abortion and his then-wife Kim Kardashian.
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