With a single tweet on July 4, award-winning rapper and billionaire mogul Kanye West did what most thought was impossible – turn a bizarre presidential election into a bigger circus.

"We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," West said in a post to his 29 million followers.

"I am running for president of the United States."

Some thought it was a stunt, more than a few poked fun and many wondered what had happened between he and Donald Trump, his "brother" with whom he shares "dragon blood".


Those are West's own words from 2018, when he defended his support for the Republican and his administration to the shock of many fans and celebrity pals.

A Forbes magazine profile of the record artist and fashion designer was released four days after that tweet, in which he confirmed that his candidacy is no joke.

"Like anything I've ever done in my life, I'm doing (it) to win," he said.

West revealed that billionaire tech giant Elon Musk is advising him on campaign strategies, he's already selected a vice president, he'll run as an independent, and that he pictures his White House administration resembling the fictitious Wakanda nation from the film Black Panther.

He also described Planned Parenthood as doing "the devil's work" and disease vaccinations as being "the mark of the beast".

Donald Trump and Kanye West in 2016. Photo / Getty Images
Donald Trump and Kanye West in 2016. Photo / Getty Images

But the part of the interview that's sparked intrigue is West's declaration that he's "taking the red hat off", referring to Trump's famous Make America Great Again cap, because the President has lost his support.

West told the magazine that the presidency "looks like one big mess", pointing at the Black Lives Matter protests that gripped America and referencing reports that Trump hid in a bunker at the White House during a Washington DC demonstration in May.

It marks a sharp U-turn from his apparent voting intentions just a few months ago.


In a profile piece in GQ magazine in April, West said: "We know who I'm voting (for) … I will not be told who I'm going to vote on because of my colour."

What a difference a few months can make.

Talk of the unlikely bromance between the pair first emerged years before Trump was the most powerful man in the world.

It's been reported that Ivanka Trump struck up a friendship with West after attending one of his concerts in 2009.

Rapper Kanye West wears a Make America Great Again hat. Photo / AP
Rapper Kanye West wears a Make America Great Again hat. Photo / AP

Back in mid-2014 just prior to the lavish wedding of West to reality television star Kim Kardashian, Trump was giving a television interview when he said he knew the couple "well" and described them as "very nice people", wishing them "the best of luck" for their marriage.

He wasn't one of the hundreds of guests invited to the televised event though.


Some 15 months later, while accepting an award at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2015, West declared his intention to run for president in 2020.

Most figured it was a joke or part of a pattern of increasingly bizarre behaviour that had some loudly wondering about his health.

At that point, Trump had just announced his race to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 election. He was considered by pundits to be an outside chance.

Of course, he wasn't and delivered a shock defeat to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump, left, meets with rapper Kanye West, seated second from right, in the Oval Office of the White House. Photo / AP
President Donald Trump, left, meets with rapper Kanye West, seated second from right, in the Oval Office of the White House. Photo / AP

Not long after, while left-leaning Americans were still reeling, West revealed during a concert that he hadn't voted, but added: "If I would've voted, I would've voted for Trump."

According to reports, it didn't go well and he was drowned out by loud booing.


The following month, West was granted an audience with the president-elect at his Trump Tower in New York City.

Afterwards, West told reporters that the pair discussed "life" and, in a later-deleted tweet, said "multicultural issues" were also on the agenda.

The subject of his support for the President was a simmering issue for some time, prompting West to take to Twitter to defend his political views.

"You don't have to agree with Trump but the mob can't make me not love him," he wrote.

"We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone.

"I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."


Trump himself responded, saying: "Thank you, Kanye! Very cool."

His wife also took to social media to slam critics, admitting while she didn't share many of West's views, she defended his right to have them.

In 2018, West made a frenzied visit to the White House and spent time with the President in the Oval Office, surrounded by press.

They spoke about mental health, prison reform – a topic his wife is extremely passionate about and has directly lobbed the President about – and private jets.

He told reporters that Trump was "on a hero's journey right now, and he might not have expected to have (the support of) a crazy motherf***er like Kanye West".

West donned a red Make America Great Again hat and mused that it made him "feel like Superman".


He was photographed several times wearing the hat while out and about in Los Angeles.

A bitter fallout between him and friend John Legend, a fellow award-winning artist, was the result of West's support of Trump.

He shared a screenshot of text messages from Legend asking him to reconsider backing the President, which he said he tweeted to show "there are people around me that disagree with me".

After Trump's election in 2016, West backtracked on his pledge at the MTV VMAs to run for president in 2020, saying he'd delay it to 2024.

In a tweet, which has since been deleted, he also endorsed Trump for a second term.