Kanye West has announced his plans to run for president in 2024 — but before potentially moving into the White House, the rapper might change his name.
Speaking at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival, West, 42, was joined on stage by his Yeezy collaborator Steven Smith.
“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 said. “It will be on the license plate.”
That’s when West shifted the conversation to his plan to run for president.
“When I run for president in 2024 —” West said, to laughter from the audience. “What y’all laughing at?”
West said that if he were elected president, he would “create so many jobs.”
“I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk,” he said. “What they’re saying is Kanye’s crazy — one and three African Americans are in jail and all the celebrities are in jail also because they can’t say nothing because they’re so scared.”
West also said he believes African American voters are treated as a “demographic” alone, something he said he has experienced as an African American fashion designer.
“As black designers out of America, you can’t have an opinion,” he said. “You can only be the consumer… you can only be a demographic.”
“And that a boardroom says ‘this is the black demographic…This is who you’re supposed to vote on,” he continued.
“This is what you’re supposed to buy. This is your Popeye’s chicken sandwich you’re supposed to eat on. I have seen the boardroom and back. And it’s completely the concept of a demographic.”
The conversation later turned from politics to innovations that West is making as a designer.
The “God Is” singer said that Yeezy is set apart from other brands in part because he doesn’t follow the typical cycles of the fashion industry.
“We don’t put a timeline on things,” West said.
“The idea of competition that’s out there helps present a timeline. It makes things be better. Forces as creatives to bring things to market because Yeezy is the Apple of apparel. There hasn’t been an Apple of apparel —there hasn’t been that thing.”
West also revealed that he plans for the new Yeezy sneaker to be made partly out of algae and that he is moving the company’s headquarters to Cody, Wyoming.
“We have 4,000 acre ranch and a couple of other properties out there,” the father of four said. “We’re going to be farming and going seed to sow and have our own cotton, hydroponic farm, hemp farm, and wheat farm… and getting into how we can have last impact with the dyes because our colors are a big signature of the brand.”
West also said that the company is aiming to be more “responsible.”
“So dyeing is one of the main things that are impacting the planet in the fashion industry so just being responsible from A to Z,” he said.
“Our goal within the next two years is to bring the manufacturing back to America, South America, and North America and bring it back stateside and also present jobs for people back here.”