Kanye West serious about running for presidency

Kanye West.
Kanye West.

NEW YORK • Rapper Kanye West said he is serious about running for United States president in 2020, but added in an interview that was released on Thursday that he has "a lot of growing up to do" before then.

In a comment seen largely as a joke, the Grammy winner said at last month's MTV Video Music Awards show that he planned to run for the presidency in 2020.

But asked by Vanity Fair if he intended to go ahead, West, 38, said: "Oh, definitely."

He said that after the initial, stunned reaction, people were positive about the idea, despite his reputation for angry outbursts.

"As soon as I said that, it was like, 'Wait a second, we would really be into that, because actually if you think about it, he's extremely thoughtful. Every time he's ever gotten in trouble, he was really jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. He's probably the most honest celebrity that we have.'

"I didn't approach that because I thought it would be fun," he told the magazine. "I sit in clubs and I'm like, Wow, I've got five years before I go and run for office and I've got a lot of research to do, I've got a lot of growing up to do."

West, who has not said which political party he would represent, noted that his father has two master's degrees and that his late mother, a university English professor, had a PhD and worked for civil rights organisations.

"It's fun to be a rock star and I'll never not be one I guess, but there'll be a point where I become my mother's child," he said.

His supporters have launched a political action committee called Ready For Kanye in the hope he will run as a Republican. So far the group has under 100 followers on Facebook and Twitter.

West this week was ranked the seventh highest-paid hip-hop act by Forbes magazine with an estimated US$22 million (S$31.3 million) in earnings from music.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Kanye West serious about running for presidency'. Print Edition | Subscribe