Kanye West plans to meet Putin – reports
According to reports, Ye will soon journey to Russia to put on shows, meet with President Vladimir Putin, and pursue business deals with Russian moguls – the logical next step for the artist who once called himself “Young Putin.”
Kanye West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, will travel to Moscow later this year to put on his first shows in Russia and pursue business deals with property tycoon Aras Agalarov and his musician son Emin, according to a Billboard report released on Tuesday. The outlet cites Ye’s advisor, Ameer Sudan, saying the rapper will help Emin boost his international reputation as a singer too, and expects whatever undisclosed deals he strikes with the Agalarovs to add billions of dollars to his already formidable wealth.
Ye “will be spending a lot of time out there,” Sudan told Billboard, adding that the rap star will make “a second home” of Russia.
The Agalarovs are already well used to courting foreign investment, having arranged with Donald Trump to bring the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, and later reportedly discussing a project to develop a Trump Tower property in the Russian capital, which was later abandoned.
However, Ye also intends to meet with Russia’s number one power broker: President Vladimir Putin. According to Billboard’s report, Ye has asked Putin to attend one of his ‘Sunday Service’ shows in Moscow. Although Putin is no fan of rap music, Billboard noted that the rapper and the president could find common ground in their shared Christian faith.
Faith aside, Ye could be banking on flattery to land himself an audience with Putin. In an interview in November, he called himself a “young Putin,” claiming that he exports culture like Russia exports oil.
“I used to say I was Young Vladimir until I realized I was Vladimir,” he announced in his typically disjointed fashion. “You know the moment when I realized it was? When I realized culture is an oil, culture is an energy. And I’m the king of culture, for the past 20, and the next 2,000 years.”
Whether or not Ye gets the meeting he wants, the trip is slated for some time this spring or summer, depending on the rapper’s schedule. The journey might attract the attention of ‘Russiagate’ reporters in the US, especially considering Ye was described in 2018 as a “witting asset of Russian intelligence” by “strategic intelligence analyst” Eric Garland, based entirely on the fact that he met with a Russian fashion designer in Moscow and then with Donald Trump. Garland’s claims were never substantiated.
In the absence of any official comment from Ye himself, people from the rapper’s inner circle and beyond have weighed in on his alleged business plans in Russia. Ye’s PR representative, Pierre Rougier, dismissed the claims, telling Rolling Stone magazine that the story was “Entirely fabricated. Work of fiction or wishful thinking from these Russian people.” Yet, publicist Rob Goldstone, a person believed to be close to Russian mogul Emin Agalarov, said he could “confirm there are talks going on,” but stopped short of divulging any further details.