Kanye West Talks Changing His Name to 'Christian Billionaire Genius' and 2024 Presidential Run
By Antoinette Bueno
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company
Kanye West was just as outspoken as ever when he made a surprise appearance at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York on Thursday.
The 42-year-old rapper participated in a panel discussion with Yeezy footwear designer Steven Smith and made a few bold statements, including that he might legally change his name to "Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West" for a year. West explained that he wanted to get proper acknowledgment as a black entrepreneur.
"Martin Luther King didn't get killed because he had a dream; he had something else he was going to talk about," West said. "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 I have at Yeezy."
"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," he continued. "It will be on the license plate."
"What y'all laughing at?" he said of their reaction to his political plans. "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!"
Of course, this isn't the first time West has been outspoken about politics. During an interview with L.A. radio personality Big Boy last month, he took aim at the Democratic party and said people were "brainwashed."
"Democrats had us voting for Democrats with food stamps for years, bro," he said. "What are you talking about? Guns in the '80s, taking the fathers out the home, Plan B, lowering our votes, making us abort our children."
ET recently spoke with West's wife, Kim Kardashian West, about her and her sisters' new KKW Fragrance Diamond collection and she talked about a softer side of the rapper. The couple recently renewed their vows after five years of marriage with their four children -- 6-year-old North, 3-year-old Saint, 1-year-old Chicago and 5-month-old Psalm -- present for the special moment.
"Well, we had really traditional vows our first time around and so we wrote something that was just more intimate and special to us and where we're at now five years later, so it definitely is different," Kardashian West noted. "I mean, I just think after having kids, it just is such a life-changer. Life is so different. I feel like this is when life really begins and it's been so much fun to be on this journey with someone that just brings you on this whirlwind of a life that I never dreamed that I would have, so it's been a lot of fun."