Presidential candidate Akon? It’s a possibility, claims the rapper.
The St. Louis-born artist (birth name Aliaune Thiam) recently claimed he is interested in challenging President Donald Trump for the highest office in the land in 2020 — and that it’s something he is pondering “very seriously.”
“I didn’t want to just do it because I feel like I want to continue doing what I’m doing and hope that builds me enough momentum (for people) to say, ‘You know what, if you run we’ll support you’,” the “Locked Up” singer (pictured above left) said in a recent interview.
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“I feel a lot more unsafe,” he added.
“I feel unempowered. Honestly, I feel it’s gonna be a fight.”
The 45-year-old rapper also criticized Trump, essentially calling him unstable and ineffective as a leader.
“I feel like I should be always prepared for the unexpected,” he said. “I feel very uncomfortable. And I feel a lot of Americans do; even some white Americans feel that way because they’re watching [the] backlash of his decisions. It’s not what’s happening now, because it’s clear it’s creating a whole bunch of divide today. But I think tomorrow that impact is going to be so much more devastating.”
Akon has criticized the president in the past.
Last year, he said that Trump’s travel ban made himself a “target” as an American.
“I don’t wanna have to deal with foreign affairs because of a decision my leader made for me, you know what I mean?,” he said. “I don’t wanna be in a position where I’m gathering millions, or thousands of crowds on a basic weekend night for us to have fun and then I become the source or the target for everyone that comes to support me because I’m an American.”
So will Akon actually run for president in 2020?
Even though he is saying it now, this seems highly unlikely. Kanye West, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alec Baldwin, and other celebs all have expressed interest in running for president in the past — but little ever comes from such comments.
Plus, Akon does not have the greatest record for public service. A decade ago, it was revealed that he lied about his criminal history to boost his popularity in the rap industry; he claimed he spent four and a half years in prison for running a car theft ring, but the real story didn’t exactly match his claims. However, he does have six arrests on record — including one for driving a stolen car.
For more about celebrities wanting to challenge Trump for the presidency, check out the video below:
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.