Kanye West considers outlandish name change: 'People say it's crass'


Kanye West is a man of many nicknames — Ye, Yeezy, Mr. West, The Louis Vuitton Don and, sometimes controversially, Yeezus. But as for as his legal name, he's always been Kanye Omari West.

That could change soon, though. The rapper and producer, who released his latest album, Jesus Is King, last month, said Thursday night he's considering changing his name to "Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West."

West made the comments during the fifth annual Fast Company Innovation Festival, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The 42-year-old, who has recently been touring with his gospel-focused Sunday Service choir, surprised the event's New York City crowd by showing up for a panel with Steven Smith, the head footwear designer for Yeezy apparel.

The discussion touched on a wide range of topics, from sustainability to "dad shoes" to West's alleged 2024 presidential campaign, as well as his proposed name change.

"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 an $890 million receipt and they still didn't say 'billionaire,'" the rapper added, referencing the publication's recent estimation of his net worth at $240 million. "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."

Despite, not being a billionaire by Forbes' estimate, West alluded to the fact that his company, Yeezy, is set to bring in around $1.5 billion in sales in 2019 alone.

"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," West concluded.

It's unclear when West would make the temporary name change, or how serious he was about the idea. The rapper has been known to make renege on certain decisions in the past, such as his 2016 announcement that he would run for president in 2020 — a plan he delayed by a few years on Thursday.

"What y'all laughing at? We would create so many jobs! I'm not going to run, I'm going to walk," West said of a potential 2024 presidential bid.

West has seen plenty of success in recent months though, regardless of his legal name going forward. Jesus Is King, released on Oct. 25, became the rapper's ninth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.