Kanye West revealed that he was inspired by God to run for president five years before he announced he was running in the 2020 presidential election.
The “Follow God” rapper, 43, opened up about his political aspirations during an interview on the Saturday, October 24, episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“It was something that God put in my heart back in 2015,” Kanye West said. “A few days before the MTV Awards it hit me in the shower. When I first thought of it, I just started laughing to myself and all this joy came over my body, through my soul. I felt that energy. I felt that spirit.”
The Grammy winner admitted that some of his friends and colleagues weren’t on board with the idea, but he said he stayed focused because he thought he would “definitely be a billionaire by that time.”
“Not that that’s a reason why someone should become president, but it’s to say, you know, at that time I was around 50 million dollars in debt, and I knew I had the confidence that I would be able to turn that around,” he explained.
Kanye West added that he was also inspired by President Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential win. “When I saw Trump win, [I could see] that you can win if you come from outside of politics,” he said.
The “Flashing Lights” rapper explained that he wouldn’t have a problem running for governor instead of president but doesn’t believe that’s his life’s purpose.
“If it’s in God’s plan that part of my path is to be the governor then that’s fine, but my calling is to be the leader of the free world,” he said.
Kanye West announced in July that he planned to run in the 2020 presidential election against Trump, 74, and former vice president Joe Biden. During his first campaign rally in South Carolina, West made headlines when he tearfully revealed that he and his wife, Kim Kardashian, had discussed aborting her first pregnancy. The couple share daughter North, 7, son Saint, 4, daughter Chicago, 2, and son Psalm, 17 months.
The Chicago native explained the incident to host Joe Rogan, noting that he cried because there was a “possible chance” he wouldn’t have the family he has today.
“The idea of it just tears me up inside that I was a part of a culture that promotes this kind of thing,” Kanye West said. “One of the major statistics on the subject of life is that the greatest advocates for the A-word [abortion] are men from ages 31 to 37. That’s how old I was. I felt like I was too busy. My dad felt like he was too busy for me. We have a culture of that.”
Later in July, Kanye West went on a Twitter spree claiming that he had been trying to divorce his wife for two years.
“Family and friends are concerned because running for president opens you up for the most criticism,” a source told Us Weekly in July. “People around him are concerned about how much stress it will have on him.”
Kanye West’s behavior caused Kardashian, 40, to publicly address her husband’s struggles with bipolar disorder for the first time, noting the “stigma and misconceptions” surrounding mental health issues.
Despite the drama, a source told Us in September that the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is still “holding onto her marriage.”