While Kanye West was bringing high art to the Hollywood Bowl with his 808s & Heartbreak concerts, another Republican candidate was weighing in on the rapper’s 2020 presidential campaign. Ben Carson, currently trailing Donald Trump in the polls, told ABC’s This Week that he’s “certainly willing to give [West] a chance.” “He’ll be able to explain things and see if he resonates with the people,” Carson said of West’s Oval Office run.
“I did have an opportunity to talk with him. I was extremely impressed with his business acumen. He knows a lot about business,” Carson continued. “I talked to him about the possibility of maybe himself and some of the other people in pop culture doing some music that might be uplifting that might give young women a sense of their value and young men a sense of responsibility. I think it could be a tremendous thing in our society.”
Carson’s comments come after West praised the retired neurosurgeon and Republican hopeful in a recent Vanity Fair article. “As soon as I heard Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like, ‘This is the most brilliant guy,'” West said.
West and Carson eventually spoke to one another in a 45-minute phone call where the rapper “was singing and rapping on the phone,” Carson’s business manager Armstrong Williams told The Guardian. “It was a fun conversation,” adding that “it was clean rap; his lyrics were all clean.” Carson hopes to speak with West again in the coming weeks to see if West would like to become involved in the candidate’s campaign.
Williams also said that Carson was “very grateful that Kanye believes in him.” However, don’t expect a Carson/West ticket as the rapper made it clear that, if he does run in 2020, it’s for Commander-in-Chief and not Vice President.
West aligning with Carson would certainly deal a personal blow to Donald Trump, who previously revealed that Kanye “loves” him. “He’s said very nice things about me in the past… extremely positive things,” Trump told Rolling Stone. “He’s actually a different kind of person than people think. He’s a nice guy. I hope to run against him someday.”