By James Hibberd
July 15, 2020 at 01:54 PM EDT
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Credit: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Kanye West's latest stunt is apparently over before it hardly began.

After announcing he was running for president of the United States on July 4, the music mogul and sometimes Trump supporter has given up his efforts, according to New York Magazine. West himself has not commented, and given the superstar's decision-making fluidity, everything and anything is possible for the future beats of this story (and, in fact, West might have already changed his mind, as noted in an update at the bottom of this story). But the superstar's election strategist Steve Kramer told the magazine that West "is out" of the race. Kramer was one of several campaign staffers reportedly hired to help West get on the ballot in states like Florida and South Carolina. It was apparently quite an uphill battle to get on the ballots of key states at this late of a date. When asked what went wrong, Kramer reportedly replied, "I’ll let you know what I know once I get all our stuff canceled."

The news broke after a national poll on Tuesday said that West would only receive 2 percent of the vote.

West's original holiday announcement read, "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States." The announcement was widely criticized, with fellow rapper 50 Cent accusing West of trying to "create a diversion and distract people."

In a follow-up interview with Forbes, West said he was "taking the red hat off" in terms of being a Trump supporter moving forward. "It looks like one big mess to me," West said. "One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. ... Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”

West also noted he was skeptical about taking a potential coronavirus vaccine: "It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed... So when they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven."

West dropping out, if confirmed, will likely be a relief to just about all parties involved. For presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden, it means not having to contend with somebody who might lure away a percentage of young voters in an election which might ultimately end up being a lot closer than the polls currently appear. For President Donald Trump, it means not having to compete with a similar social media force who has exposed some political views that are along the same lines as his own. And for voters, it will mean Kanye West will not be inserted into the coverage of every political beat between now and November; an election process that's surely going to be distracting and chaotic without any help from Yeezy.

Meanwhile, West has spent the last 24 hours tweeting about a chair:

UPDATE: Literally within minutes of this story being posted, TMZ reported that West on Wednesday filed the first form required by the Federal Election Commission if he's to stay in the race. So, there is still movement. Don't scratch off your "Kanye 2020" bumper stickers just yet.

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