Is Kanye running for president? Who knows, man? But right now, he’s certainly marinating on Twitter in the idea that he could. Interspersed in his New Year’s Day tweetstorm were several retweets of fans promising to campaign for him or support him if he does. West also tweeted that he was going to be on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, so it’s possible we’ll hear the long-form version of his political ambitions soon.
West’s tweets have been turned into content ever since he joined Twitter in 2010. But 2018 was a banner year for the phenomenon, as it appeared that West had red-pilled himself on some of the Trump Internet’s biggest personalities.
“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” West tweeted last April. Owens, a then-relatively obscure Trump Internet figure, has built a career as a conservative pundit who argues that the only reason black people vote for Democrats is because they’ve been brainwashed by liberals and the media. That tweet set off a real-time Twitter journey, in which West tweeted clips from several Periscope videos by “Dilbert” creator and pro-Trump Internet celebrity Scott Adams. In May, during an interview with TMZ, West suggested that slavery was a “choice.”
West’s affinity for Trump predates his MAGA-hat-wearing days. In November 2016, West said he didn’t vote for president, but if he had, he would have voted for Trump.
(A deleted version of the tweet above included the line, “That’s real racism.")
In October, West met with Trump in the Oval Office, during which he gave a 10-minute monologue about his beliefs. He announced that he was done with politics later that month. “My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in,” he tweeted. “I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!”
The tweet followed Owens’s announcement that West had designed the logo for “Blexit,” her campaign urging black voters to leave the Democratic Party.
“I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine,” West tweeted. “I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it.”
West has been active on Twitter since then, most recently going after Drake on New Year’s Eve because, as far as we can tell, Drake followed his wife on Instagram.