On Monday morning, Chance the Rapper burst into a tweetstorm defense of Kanye West’s dubious presidential candidacy. It started when Chance quote-tweeted a new Kanye song called “DONDA,” released on Sunday to honor West’s late mother’s birthday. “And yall out here tryna convince me to vote for Biden. Smfh,” Chance wrote, implying that the ability to write a good song has some bearing on Kanye’s White House qualifications.
Chance tweeted through it for a few hours, first following the initial tweet with vague ruminations on the two-party system and branding criticism of Kanye’s campaign as racist. He appeared to genuinely want explanations for why supporting Joe Biden would be preferable to West, a candidate who has yet to file paperwork or vote in an election. “Are u more pro biden or anti ye and why,” he wrote. “I get that you’ll want to reply that you’re just tryna “get trump out” but in this hypothetical scenario where you’re replacing Trump, can someone explain why Joe Biden would be better??” After becoming a top trending topic and getting hollered at for much of the morning, Chance seemed to understand where the winds were blowing. “I finally got the answer now. I understand. Yall trust Biden more than yall trust Ye. I think I understand why, I just don’t feel the same way,” he wrote.
As he continued to post, Chance stumbled on a few solid points along the way — confronting how pundits talk about being “presidential” as shorthand for preserving civility and good-feelings optics, even if the president in question is committing mass atrocities around the world or at home. But after lending credulity to a “campaign” that may ultimately serve as a publicity vessel for Kanye’s upcoming album called God’s Country, the damage was done.
Kanye’s alleged candidacy took another sharp turn last week when he suddenly pivoted away from supporting President Trump and outlined some of his policy proposals. In an interview with Forbes, West shared some noxious opinions about Planned Parenthood clinics and vaccination, along with conspiracy theories about the government implanting microchip technology. This came a week after he rapped about forced sterilization (“Plan B was they Plan A, to lower the count of our families / To lower the count on our damn votes”) on Ty Dolla $ign’s new song “Ego Death.”
The Forbes interview proved to be too much for his pal and supposed campaign advisor Elon Musk, who decided that they have “more differences of opinion that [he] anticipated.” (Curiously, he didn’t clarify if these differences stemmed from the anti-abortion and anti-vax opinions or the microchip paranoia that would run counter to Musk’s own plans to implant devices into human brains.)
Amid all of this, TMZ offered unconfirmed reports that Kanye is experiencing a severe bipolar episode and that “those around him are concerned it has impacted his decision-making and some of the things he's said in the last week.” Boosting the campaign of an artist who claimed two years ago that “slavery was a choice” is damaging enough on its own, but anyone enabling this latest public crisis could be disregarding his mental wellbeing on a fundamental level.