US rapper Kanye West’s announcement of his presidential bid was well received by many Chinese netizens, who are apparently impressed by the Grammy-winning rapper’s connection to the city of Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province.
The hashtag "Kanye West announced run for US president" quickly racked up 130 million views on China's social network Weibo within a few hours after Kanye West’s announcement, Global Times reported.
The comment "our Nanjing rapper will run for president of the US" is the most popular, with netizens en masse recounting the rapper’s stint in the city as a 10-year-old boy.
In 1987, West is came to live in Nanjing with his mother Donda West, an invited teacher of English at Nanjing University. During her contract there, the future musician studied at the university's affiliated primary school for a year.
Donda later recounted their Chinese experience in her book Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar, noting that he enjoyed their happy stay in China. During his time in the city, the boy studied Tai Chi, a local Chinese martial art, used chopsticks to eat and once break danced for his Chinese friends.
Kanye West in his turn mentioned in a 2011 interview that his life in China had a huge impact on his career, a report from Daily Rap Facts recalls.
"I think being in China got me ready to be a celebrity because, at that time, a lot of Chinese had never seen a black person. They would always come up and also stare at me, fishbowl me and everything. And that's kind of the way it is for me right now," he recounted.
Having previously unambiguously hinted at his aspirations for a political career, this Sunday, the US hip-hop artist tweeted that he is running for president of the United States, adding the hashtag #2020VISION and contending that it is important to "realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future".