Kanye West Explains Why He Announced His Presidential Candidacy for 2020

Kanye West dishes on everything from adidas and IKEA collaborations to running for president and his Glastonbury blunder.

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Complex Original

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The 2016 presidential race has turned out to be one of the craziest yet; and if all goes according to Kanye West’s plan, 2020 is going to be even more insane.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac on Sunday, Kanye revealed he hasn’t abandoned his plans to run for office. If you remember, it was the plan he announced while receiving the MTV Video Vanguard Award last year. Well, the Chicago rapper explained the reasoning behind the bold statement and what motivated him to declare his bid.

“We are numb, we’re numb to 500 kids getting killed in Chicago a year, we’re numb to the fact that it was seven police shootings in the beginning of July … we’re numb to places on the Earth that we don’t live – like our life is okay but it’s okay for other people’s lives to not be okay,” he explained to BBC via telephone. “When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views, I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there is anything that I can do with my time and my day, to somehow make a difference while I’m alive I’m going to try to do it.”

Kanye’s explanation touched on a very important issue, which makes us wonder: Is he serious about his candidacy? Being the leader of the free world is one of the most demanding jobs, and we’re not sure how he’ll find the time to run an entire country with so much on his plate. We’re talking music, tours, being a father of two, and a slew of design projects.

During the interview, Kanye spoke about his collaboration with adidas and how he intends to deliver a shoe that costs less than $30. He also mentioned his rumored collaboration with IKEA.

“I have to work with IKEA—make furniture for interior design, for architecture and I know that if I do a minimalist apartment inside of a college dorm where the TV goes on the side of the wall,” he said. “Yo IKEA, allow Kanye to create, allow him to make this thing because you know what, I want a bed that he makes, I want a chair that he makes—I want more products from Ye."

He also dished on his appearance at 2015's Glastonbury festival, and how his flawed performance put him in a state of depression as well as brought up emotions he hasn't felt in years. 

"I started off the show and I completely messed up the music. And me, as you can imagine by this phone call, I’m a bit of a perfectionist," he said. "So it really put me into a slightly depressed state and it put me back in the position of when I was in high school and I got fired from my job, or when I played my music for R. Kelly and he told me he was going to sign me and then three months later I didn’t have any money I couldn’t afford a haircut, I couldn’t take my girlfriend to the movies and I’m still in my momma’s bedroom, working on beats and I was that close to being signed by R. Kelly […] I don’t usually get nervous, I prepare, I get fully prepared. When that music messed up in the beginning it tapped into my nerves and when you’re nervous or vulnerable something special and something different can happen.”

To read other highlights from the interview—including The Life of Pablo European tour, avoiding personal debt, and which food Kim Kardashian refuses to cook for him—go to HipHop-N-More. The BBC Radio 1 interview will air Monday at 7 p.m. in the United Kingdom, which you can listen to as it airs right now here.

The full interview took place Monday and Kanye immediately discussed his The Life of Pablo cut, "Fade," which Annie Mac aired as her Hottest Record. "I've never had a first single that really did well at radio ever in my career," West told the BBC Radio 1 host over the phone as he explained his type of art "takes a while to cut." Still, Kanye has been going up for a longtime against a reputation of being outlandish and extreme. "'Oh, Kanye. He's so crazy.' You know people call you crazy so much you start to believe it yourself," he noted. "I was like, look there's going to be one of two things that happened. Either I'm crazy, or everybody else is." 

Yeezy could feel everyone already dubbing what he was saying as a rant, and he countered by explaining it's not a negative thing because "a rant is a dream out loud." For him, it's about passion and about doing something with his life. "You only have 100 years on the planet if you're lucky. What are you doing that's pushing and touching people and like inspiring people?" As he put it, not letting him create is like telling Michelangelo that he wouldn't be able to paint a good cow.

It's unlikely that Michelangelo couldn't paint a great cow tbf, he has a point. 🐮 pic.twitter.com/uDMR8ByWzZ

As for what's next, Kanye just wants the freedom to create. "I want to make content and I don’t want to have to get scripts approved to do it and I don’t want to have to go into personal debt again to do it," he said, which seems like an obvious reference to calling Taylor Swift up for approval on his "Famous" lyric. He also took a minute to praise Francis and the Lights' "Friends" as his favorite track of the year, which makes sense since he made a cameo in the video. However, it's Justin Vernon that he dubbed his favorite living artist and joked, "I love Justin the way Kanye loves Kanye." As always, Kanye proved to be as entertaining and insightful as ever.

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