Kanye West held his first political rally on July 19 at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston, South Carolina and it went just about as well as expected.
The eccentric rapper and entrepreneur first announced that he was running for president in the 2020 election cycle through Twitter on July 4. West held the rally with the intention to show he was serious when he announced that he was running for president, but it mostly left fans and observers alike worried about the rapper’s mental health. Throughout the course of the July 19 rally, West broke down in tears, made a controversial claim about 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman, had a heckler ejected and claimed his brain was too big for his skull.
“Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” West said at one point during the rally. Tubman was credited throughout history with freeing hundreds of slaves via the”Underground Railroad.” This statement got a negative reception by attendees at the rally and caused West to face a significant amount of backlash from users on Twitter. After West made his comments about Tubman, a crowd member can be heard in the video saying “Come on, man,” while a woman said, “Okay we’re leaving now.”
At another point in his speech, West broke down when he revealed that he and his wife Kim Kardashian West had considered getting an abortion. West shared that his own father wanted to have him aborted. “There would have been no Kanye West… because my dad was too busy!” West said while sobbing.
West demanded silence and order by the audience during the rally and asked members of the crowd to point out any person who was heard talking. The rapper scolded the crowd for clapping at one point, had an audience member ejected for seemingly no reason and got into a heated exchange with a woman he invited onstage. The woman did not have a microphone so her comments to West were not able to be heard.
This event has raised further concerns about West’s mental health on social media. In his music and during interviews, West frequently mentions that he’s bipolar and hates taking medication. After multiple worrying onstage rants during his 2016 “Saint Pablo” tour, West was hospitalized for stress and exhaustion and placed on psychiatric hold.
According to Politico, West filed an official statement with the Federal Election Committee under The Birthday Party (BDY) political party. The rapper is attempting to gain enough signatures from fans before the deadline in order to get on the ballot as a write-in candidate in most states for the November 3 election.
Despite previous reports of him dropping out of the race, West has seemed to officially commit to running for president since his July 4 announcement. Politico reports that the rapper has not yet registered in any major voting polls for the election.
West’s rally in its entirety is available to watch on Facebook.