In August of 2015, Kanye west announced at the VMAs that he would run for the US Presidency in 2020. His campaign is successful, and in January of that year he is sworn into office. Nour El-Issa writes from the year 2023, painting a bleak picture of the future.
Location: Ye-tropolis, LuxXxor, The New Confederacy of Pan-Egypt – November 2023.
I’m listening to the radio, trying not to shiver too loudly in the flooded basement. Thankfully all of the wiring’s been stripped from Manhattan, repurposed instead to build a massive likeness of President West, which can now be seen high-fiving the Statue of Liberty, torch still in hand. Nearby on the mainland is the area where his inauguration attracted record numbers in the audience, mostly because it was another date in his world tour at the time.
State-sponsored Voice of God radio is in its 13th consecutive hour of broadcasting President West’s eighth studio album, an untitled 210-minute epic composed of mainly pre-ambient samples and the tortured screams of the entire South Park production team. I can’t even sleep without it on anymore. All media is now controlled by the Yeezy Government, including state-controlled TV programmes like the Real Housewives of Ye-tropolis, Kim being the foremost housewife.
The yellow-brown congealed water occasionally shifts. I’ve never known someone who fell in it and later got out. Most people will chalk this down to the First Lady’s many silicone refineries leaching biohazard waste into nearby rivers and seas, mutating marine life and polluting whole cities, all for the sake of beauty. It’s coming up to 6:00AM when the broadcast is interrupted for a recorded message from Vice President ‘Z. Opening with his new single, 99 Problems (but foreign policy ain’t one), his voice modulated, he speaks:
‘As vice-president, I’m pleased to inform all citizens of Pan-Egypt that Yeezy Season is now approaching, and is expected to last between 4-6 weeks this year. All males between the ages of 14 and 65 are required to register for this year’s mission before the full moon. Just as a reminder to those citizens who have not yet pre-installed Tidal+ into their central nervous systems that they have only one week to do so before the S.W.I.S.H squads are sent out with instructions to shoot on sight. Shout out to Beyoncé.’
I feel like I’m going to be sick. Yeezy Season never truly ends. Immediately following the election of President West, the entirety of NATO was annexed to form what is now Pan-Egypt (not to be confused with Egypt-Egypt, as it is now referred to), forcing other major world powers to expand. Greater Russia now stretches from Finland through Syria to northern Pakistan and The People’s Republic of Indochina from Mongolia to New Zealand.
This new world state caused an immediate and brutal second Scramble for Africa, which needless to say provided much inspiration for the Ministry of Propaganda and Conscious Hip-Hop here in Pan-Egypt. As a result, there is an annual month-long campaign to push further into the spheres of the other superpowers. Unfortunately, under the leadership of General RZA, this generally results in no significant advances and heavy casualties – his primary battle strategy being kung-fu samurai hand-to-hand combat, replacing swords with giant chess pieces.
The hunger burns within my gut. I turn the radio off, change into my dry clothes and pick up my shotgun before I leave to scavenge for food. President West was never much of a gangster himself, no, but Secretary of State DMX enforces a mandatory policy such that the offence of not carrying a loaded gun after sundown is punishable by 3 years of forced labour in an arms factory – his sense of irony and nuance have markedly developed in the past few years. Outside, children are playing with surplus copies of Yeezus, which were produced on a massive scale in the lead up to the 2020 election. Helicopters whirr overhead, blasting heavy-handed racial commentary in the form of PSAs. Somewhere in the distance, a Tidal+ commercial is flashing from the projection over Times Square.
It’s a long walk to New Haven, but at least they have clean water there. Nothing remains on the highway except for burned-out cars and feral dogs. After a few miles I stumble and fall over a Beats™ by Dre police baton and crack my skull on the ground. Face down in a crimson pool, I catch sight of a dollar bill stuck to the rear axle of an abandoned Ford. I reach out with my good arm, wincing in pain as I grasp it. In God We Trust, conspiracy theory symbolism – it’s all there. As I fade to black, the bill flutters to reveal a portrait of the President, captioned ‘The Realest’. I begin to weep, because in this moment…
I love Kanye West.
[Nour El-Issa –@dimredspectre]