It appears the artist formerly known as Kanye West will be taking his talents to ...Russia?
Per Billboard, Ye’s confidant and strategic advisor Ameer Sudan confirmed the news on Tuesday, adding that his travel is scheduled for some time this spring or summer, depending on his schedule. The travel kinks are also being worked out by attorney Scott Balber, who serves as the managing partner of Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office and the law firm’s U.S. head of investigations and financial services litigation. The plan is for Yeezy to hold his first-ever Sunday Service in Moscow as well as score a sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin and continue nurturing his business relationship with Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov and his son Emin.
If the latter party’s name sounds familiar, Billboard has more on why it might ring a bell:
Aras Agalarov, a close associate of Putin and, as president of the Crocus Group, one of Russia’s leading developers, is sometimes referred to as the “Trump of Russia” because of how he often self-brands his buildings. He and his son and business partner, Emin Agalarov, worked with Donald Trump to bring the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Moscow and were in discussions about a Trump Tower development project in the country that failed to materialize. Later, the Agalarovs helped coordinate the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting where senior members of Trump’s election campaign met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya expecting to receive dirt on Hillary Clinton. Ye is working on new business deals with the Agalarovs as well, according to Sudan, and while he could not disclose the details of those discussions, he projected they would increase West’s wealth to more than $10 billion.
Wooooooow. I’ve got to be honest: Kanye West has done A LOT of wildly unpredictable things over the last handful of years but I’d be lying if I said him taking a trip oversees to Kremlin Land was on my 2022 Bingo Card. I mean, look: I know part of the Christian manifesto he ascribes to tells us that we should “go into all the world to spread the Gospel,” but are we sure it meant this part?
Ye warned us long ago that we couldn’t tell him nothing, but I hope somebody tells him a thing or two before he hops that plane because who knows what will come of this scenario. Get ready Russia, ‘cuz here ‘Ye comes.