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Kanye West seeks to run in 2024, wants to change name to prove billionaire status

/ 03:42 PM November 09, 2019
Kanye West

Kanye West. Image: Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File

Kanye West announced his presidential ambition and slammed Forbes for not calling him a billionaire at a leadership summit in New York.

The rapper and entrepreneur made a surprise appearance at the Fast Company’s Innovation Festival on Thursday, Nov. 7, where he was part of a panel discussion on his Yeezy shoe line, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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“When I run for President in 2024…,” he said, eliciting laughter from the crowd. “What y’all laughing at? We would create so many jobs!”

He continued, “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!”

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He also called out Forbes for not listing him as a billionaire, though it reported last August that Yeezy is projected to top $1.5 billion (P75.8 billion) in 2019. A September Forbes report stated that his pretax income is $150 million.

“When I did Forbes, I showed them a $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire,’” he told the audience. 

He claimed that it was an attack on black economic empowerment: “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.”

“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 declared.

Other topics he discussed was making the manufacturing of Yeezys more sustainable; he said the company would be farming its own cotton and hemp to achieve “seed-to-sew.”

He explained, “Within the next two years, our goal is to bring the manufacturing back to America, South America and North America and bring it back stateside, also to present jobs for people back here.”

To show commitment to sustainability, the new Yeezy sneakers presented at the panel discussion were made with an algae fiber and created in Atlanta.  Niña V. Guno /ra

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