The disgraced rapper and designer formerly known as Kanye West has said he plans to run for president in 2024, which would make him the second declared candidate after Donald Trump.
The statement follows a series of scandals and far-right associations for the 45-year-old star, who now goes by Ye. The day before, sportswear giant Adidas announced it was launching an investigation into allegations that it had harassed former employees. Rolling Stone magazine reported claims by Adidas employees working on the rapper’s Yeezy shoe line that he used “porn, bullying and mind games” to create a “toxic environment” at the company.
That revelation itself followed several fashion brands, including Adidas, Gap and Balenciaga, dropping the 45-year-old star over anti-Semitic comments he made online.
He has also been dropped by his talent agent, lawyers and record company. Ye later said he had lost “$2 billion in one day”.
The presidential run is his second. During his first, in 2020, he qualified for ballot access in just 12 states, unsuccessfully sued for access in five others, gave up on four and missed registration deadlines on another 29.
He held a very emotional rally in South Carolina in which he spoke about his anti-abortion views, funded two television commercials, and ultimately received only 70,000 votes in the entire US.
Ye’s announcement of a second run for the White House was made with a video of his social media campaign logo titled “Ye24”. In it, he claimed to have asked Donald Trump to be his running mate, a suggestion that “most upset” the former president.
“The thing Trump was most disturbed about [is] i asked him to be my vice president,” Kanye said in a video posted to his recently unlocked Twitter account. “I think that was lower on the list of things that caught him off guard.”
“It was the fact that I came in with intelligence,” Ye added.
In the “Ye24” Twitter post, the rapper said he advised Trump to “go get these people the media was trying to cancel,” with flashes of Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone, and InfoWars plotter Alex Jones.
A few days ago, Ye was seen in the company of white nationalist Nick Fuentes at the Mar-a-Lago country club and home of Trump. In the next video, titled “Mar-A-Lago debriefingYe Trump said “actually started yelling at me at the table telling me I’m going to lose. Has that ever worked for anyone in history? I’m like, ‘Wait, hold on, Trump, you’re talking to Ye.’”
Ye recently told far-right British commentator Milo Yiannopoulos that he was “working on the campaign”, which Yiannopoulos said he took as a campaign announcement. On Thursday, Ye indicated that he had hired Yiannopoulos as his 2024 campaign manager.