KANYE WEST officially launched his bid to become the next President of the United States with an extraordinary election rally that saw him ranting erratically on issues around race and abortion.
Taking to the stage in North Charleston, South Carolina, West wore a bulletproof vest labelled “security” and had “2020” shaved into his hair.
What followed was a chaotic and, at times, extremely emotional speech, with West veering from one topic to another with often wild abandon.
The most notable and evidently most personal topic, however, was that of abortion, with West discussing how he himself was apparently almost aborted.
"My mom saved my life,” he bellowed. "My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There wouldn’t have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy."
Kanye West gets emotional while speaking about abortion in South Carolina:
"My Mom saved my life. My Dad wanted to abort me... There would have been no Kanye West."
"I almost killed my daughter." pic.twitter.com/jiGuODxAno
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 19, 2020
At that point, he broke down in tears, revealed that he and wife Kim Kardashian considered not having their daughter, North.
"I almost killed my daughter. I almost killed my daughter," he shouted.
West went on to propose replacing the “Plan B” morning-after pill with something called “plan a” or “A1” – an “option” of $50,000 a year to help “take care of your child”.
That figure later rose to a suggested amount of $1m.
The rally also saw the rapper openly criticise American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman.
Kanye said this and I left immediately. I went for a laugh and I got one. But when it got disrespectful for me it was over. pic.twitter.com/nNqjUp03mu
— Little Pimp (@toekneerlynos) July 19, 2020
Tubman famously escaped slavery before returning to rescue 70 other slaves using a secret network of rural passage ways and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
However, in part of his rant condemning white businesses for employing “black symbols”, West claimed: “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people.”
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) July 19, 2020
That comment drew widespread derision on social media with fellow rapper rapper Q Tip simply posted an image of Tubman along with the caption “#Hero” in response.
Westworld actor Jeffrey Wright also tweeted: “Harriet Tubman doesn’t give a damn about anybody’s k***futurist opinion.”
The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas tweeted: “If y’all don’t stop disturbing Harriet Tubman’s spirit with this foolishness…”
If y'all don't stop disturbing Harriet Tubman's spirit with this foolishness...
— Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas) July 19, 2020
Rapper Noname, meanwhile, wrote: “KEEP HARRIET TUBMAN NAME OUT YOUR F***ING MOUTH!!!!!!!”
Many were keen to highlight West’s previous mental health issues though, suggesting the speech should serve as a cry for help rather than a serious campaign message.
West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018.
Songwriter and producer Finneas O’Connell, who is the brother of Billie Eilish, tweeted: “Let’s completely disregard politics. Kanye is going through an episode and needs love and care from his friends and family.”
Let’s completely disregard politics. Kanye is going through an episode and needs love and care from his friends and family
— FINNEAS☮️ (@finneas) July 20, 2020
West’s rally debut came just days after it was reported he had suspended his campaign.
He has already qualified to appear on Oklahoma's presidential ballot, but needs to collect 10,000 signatures by noon on Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law.