According to Billboard, Kanye is embarking on a trip to Moscow later this year, with plans to meet with President Putin. The rap icon will also be bringing his Sunday Service series to Russia for his first-ever performances in the country.
It’s all part of Kanye’s plan to grow his business ventures in Russia, which will soon be his “second home,” according to the billionaire rapper/fashion mogul’s confidant and strategic advisor Ameer Sudan. “He will be spending a lot of time out there,” Sudan said.
Kanye West is planning to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow later this year and hold Sunday Service performances as his first-ever shows in Russia, his associate tells Billboard.https://t.co/nXDFCBWWxt
— billboard (@billboard) January 11, 2022
Atop Ye’s Russian agenda — which could happen in the spring or summer, depending on his schedule — are business deals with Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov and his son Emin. Details have yet to be disclosed, but the plans could see Kanye’s $1.8 billion net worth balloon to $10 billion, according to Sudan.
The Agalarovs’ Crocus Group is a major player in the Russian real estate market, with over 4 million total square meters of developed property in the country and a portfolio of shopping centers, superstores, fashion brands, department stores, boutiques and more.
Kanye’s partnership with the Agalarovs — who, coincidentally, have ties to both Putin and Trump — will also see him work on music with Emin in an effort to raise his profile in the U.S. The 42-year-old has released over a dozen albums and opened for Jennifer Lopez in Azerbaijan in 2012.
Kanye West has wanted to meet with Vladimir Putin and bring his Sunday Service shows to Russia since he launched the series in 2019, according to Sudan. Ye actually compared himself to the Russian president during his Drink Champs interview in November, calling himself “Young Putin.”
“I used to say I was young Vladimir, until I realized I was Vladmir … when I realized that culture is an oil, culture is an energy and I’m the king of culture for the past 20 and the next 2,000 years,” he declared.
Kanye West says: “I am young Putin. I realized that I am Vladimir when I realized that culture is oil, culture is energy. And I am the king of culture in the last 20 years and the next 2,000 years.”
We live in the age of mass deception. @kanyewest pic.twitter.com/Tl83IQGowf
— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) November 14, 2021
The Sunday Services shows are likely to be held at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall music venue, which holds more than 7,300 people, or the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium. Kanye plans to invite Putin to attend one of the gospel performances as a special guest.
Aside from his well-documented political regime, Kanye West’s Putin ambitions are curious considering his complicated relationship with Hip Hop. The long-serving president once waged war on rap music and accused Russian rappers of creating “a path to the degradation of the nation” due to their themes of sex, drugs and protest.
However, in 2018, Putin softened his stance on Hip Hop, saying it should instead be controlled. “If it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it,” he said at the time.
Putin wants to control rap music in Russia. Here’s what young Russians have to say about that Путин pic.twitter.com/mfu3DaFh52
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) December 17, 2018
What has never been able to be controlled, however, is Kanye West. “This is Ye. Ye is going to get there regardless. What are they going to say? He’s going to be a special guest of the Agalarovs,” Sudan told Billboard.
“Kanye knows what’s going on more than the average human being, he’s well aware of things. And it’s nothing against the United States or to cause conflicts, but Ye is Ye — he can’t be controlled.”