The 2016 election is heating up, with a number of prominent players formally announcing their candidacies. But it wouldn't be a primary without a few wild cards, and the first one has entered the fray: Waka Flocka Flame.
Born Juaquin James Malphurs and nicknamed for the catchphrase of a certain beloved Muppet, the Atlanta rapper and "Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta" star formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States of America on Monday.
Published on Rolling Stone's website Monday, the video begins with Flame signing what appears to be documentation to join the race.
"I'm very pleased to announce today, that on 4/20, the best day of the year, I will be running for president," Flame said.
"The first thing Imma do when I get in office is legalize marijuana."
Then -- in a first-of-its-kind move in presidential candidacy announcement videos -- he rolls a blunt and smokes it. He explains that it's a strain called Presidential Kush, which, according to Flame, is standard for residents of the Oval Office: "All presidents smoke is Presidential Kush."
But marijuana legalization is only the beginning of his platform. Where does he stand on the issues? An overview:
The rapper has not declared his positions on teachers' unions or Common Core standards, but believes both access to trade skill training and a solid foundation in musicology are essential to American students.
"We need to start teachin' these kids more reality. Um, skills, trade skills, excuse me," he says before nodding solemnly. "The president's been smokin' one. You know how that go. So we gonna teach the kids more reality skills. And they gotta learn my lyrics before they get out of school, or else they ... fail and they gotta start from third grade all over again."
While he supports marijuana legalization, he does endorse an age restriction: "School work getting too hard? Don't touch the blunt. Think about it. Wait till you're old enough," he advises.
ON MINIMUM WAGE:
Flame has immediately declared himself a supporter of the "Fight for $15" movement, in which fast-food workers are seeking a higher minimum wage. He commends California-based chain
"I'm gonna raise the minimum wage," Candidate Flame says. "I feel like all fast-food restaurants should be paying $15 an hour, since In-N-Out burger is doing it. Great ... idea, In-N-Out."
ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS:
Candidate Flame chose not to address issues like access to reproductive services or equal pay directly, stating, "I feel like women got all their rights already," then adding, "What else they want?"
However, he acknowledges that as a man raised by a single mother -- a definite parallel to President Obama -- he believes that women are often expected to perform the job of both parents.
"My mother was my father and my mother and she controlled the house," Flame says. "She raised five men, put food on the table, she kept the lights on … women are pretty tough right now."
He says it's less about women getting rights, per se, and "more of a respect thing."
ON PUBLIC POLICY:
The musician and New York state native says his first presidential mandate will be to outlaw dogs in restaurants.
"I don't wanna see no ... animal in the restaurant ever again," he emphasizes.
He also says he would ban people whose feet are larger than a size 13 from using public sidewalks, saying they should utilize public or private transport instead: "I don't wanna see your big-ass feet takin' up all the room on the concrete."
Unlike other candidates, Flame already has a running mate. In his video, he calls up fellow rapper DJ Whoo Kid to inform him he'll be taking over Joe Biden's position.
When asked what a Flame/Kid America would look like in 2016, Kid says, "There will be unlimited weed-smoking."
Though Flame does not announce which party's ticket he will run on (likely 1017 Brick Squad, a rogue third party and also his label-slash-crew), he says his only competition is Hillary Clinton: "Women love her, and she's honest."
On Tuesday, Candidate Flame released a second video to address rumors that his campaign announcement was a joke.
"Yesterday was not a joke," he says. "I'm super serious. I'm running for president."
Unfortunately, Waka Flocka Flame was born in 1986, so he is not eligible to become president until the 2024 election. (Though his best-known songs -- "O Let's Do It," "Hard in da Paint," and "No Hands" -- would have been perfect for campaign-trail theme songs.)
Representatives for Candidate Flame did not immediately return calls for comment.