Kanye West has made some unusual statements in his day — some in seriousness and some apparently in jest — but it’s not clear where his latest announcement falls. According to CNN, the rapper wants to make sure people know how much money he has, so he is mulling the idea of changing his name to “Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West.”
West made a surprise appearance at the 2019 Fast Company Innovation Festival, where he spoke about Martin Luther King Jr. He said King wasn’t killed because of his dream but because he was talking about controversial topics.
“He talked about black empowerment, economic empowerment,” West said. “When I did Forbes, I showed them a $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire.'”
He went on to say that he wanted to change his name for a year to make sure that everyone knew how wealthy he is — no matter how “crass” it may seem, according to CBS.
“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,” West 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.”
When the host joked that the new name would be harder to type, West added, “it will be on the license plate.”
West also discussed some recent challenges he’s faced. He said that 2016 was a difficult year after his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris. That same year, he was hospitalized for exhaustion and forced to cancel his tour. Now, however, he says he is refocused following the release of his highly-anticipated album “Jesus is King.” The album has faced mixed reviews.
West also discussed moving the headquarters of his fashion line to his 4,000-acre ranch in Cody, Wyoming, where he says he can experiment with growing the materials he needs to make his clothing.
Forbes estimated that West’s Yeezy fashion line will hit $1.5 billion in sales this year. Though Yeezy is making headlines, West’s personal financial situation is unclear. In 2016, he publicly asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for a billion-dollar loan to help him pay off $53 million of debt.
West’s announcement at the 2019 Fast Company Innovation Festival was not the first time he has thrown out the idea of changing his name. In 2009, as part of a sneaker line promotion, he said that he might change his name to Martin Louis the King Jr.