A representative for Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) has denied a claim that the rapper is planning a trip to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, describing the story as “entirely fabricated.”
Earlier this week, Billboard reported that Ye had plans to visit Moscow later this year where he hoped to meet President Putin and hold an edition of his Sunday Service musical performances.
Billboard cited Ameer Sudan whom they describe as Ye’s “confidant and strategic advisor” as a source in their report.
Sudan told the outlet that Ye is planning to make Russia “a second home,” adding, “He will be spending a lot of time out there.”
Shortly after the story was published, however, Pierre Rougier, a spokesperson for Ye, told Rolling Stone in an email that the claims of Ye’s Russian trip are “entirely fabricated,” adding that it is a “work of fiction or wishful thinking from these Russian people.”
On Wednesday, a Twitter account dedicated to the Kremlin press pool reported that a meeting between Putin and Ye “fell through” and the Russian presidential administration was not engaging in organizing a meeting between Putin and Ye whose work they are “not so deeply [familiar], to give ratings.”
Insider has contacted representatives for Ye for further comment on the matter but hasn’t heard back.
Billboard also reported that Ye planned to expand his business ventures in Russia in partnership with Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire and close associate of Putin. Billboard stated that Agalarov is sometimes referred to as the “Trump of Russia” because of his self-branded buildings, which resemble the style of former US President Donald Trump’s properties.
In 2013, Agalarov and his son and business partner, Emin Agalarov, helped Trump bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, according to Billboard. The outlet also reported the billionaire was part of the team that coordinated the 2016 Trump Tower meeting where senior members of Trump’s election campaign met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who claimed to have information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
When asked by Billboard about the political relationship between the US and Russia, Sudan said Ye’s decision to travel to Russia would not be influenced by diplomacy.
“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,” Sudan said.
“This is Ye. Ye is going to get there regardless. What are they going to say?” he added.
Some statements were translated by Yelena Dzhanova.
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