Kanye West said he was bothered that Forbes didn’t list him as a billionaire, and he may do something about it.
The polarizing rapper appeared at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival in New York on Thursday alongside Steven Smith, his Yeezy shoe collaborator.
In October, Forbes stated that Yeezy will reach over $1.5 billion in sales this year, but in June it listed his net worth at $240 million. It also said he was the fourth-richest hip-hop artist behind Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who were listed at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
West said that Forbes not giving him the billionaire tag was intentional, because the publication doesn’t want to report on black economic empowerment. And as a result, he’s thinking about changing his name.
“Martin Luther King didn’t get killed because he had a dream; he had something else he was going to talk about,” said West. “He talked about black empowerment, economic empowerment. When I did Forbes, I showed them a $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire.’”
“They don’t want us to know that we can buy land; they don’t want us to have the 100 percent ownership [that] I have at Yeezy,” he continued. “When people say it’s crass to call yourself a billionaire, I say I might legally change my name to Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West for a year until y’all understand exactly what it is… It will be on the license plate.”
In another part of the discussion, the 42-year-old sparked laughter among the crowd when he announced a presidential run. It wasn’t the first time West talked about running for president, but this time he provided some of the things he’d focus on.
“When I run for President in 2024 — what y’all laughing at?” he said after the crowd chuckled. “We would create so many jobs. I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk. When you see headlines saying Kanye’s crazy — one in three African Americans are in jail and all the celebrities are in jail also because they can’t say nothing, they got no opinion, they’re so scared.”
West released his latest album “Jesus is King” on Oct. 25 after becoming a born-again Christian and putting on his “Sunday Service” church-like events in various parts of the United States.
Reportedly, he’s made history with the album by having songs take up the entire Top 10 on two of Billboard’s Christian charts, the Hot Christian Songs chart and the Hot Gospel Songs chart.
It also debuted at No. 1 on the Top Rap Albums Chart and Billboard 200, which considers all genres.
The No. 1 chart positions may be surprising to some, based on West’s ardent support of Donald Trump and seemingly being ostracized by much of the Black community.