Billionaire rapper Kanye West received a multi-million dollar PPP loan from the Trump administration, records now reveal.
Records released from the U.S. Treasury’s Small Business Administration revealed the loans issued to the billionaire rapper, entertainer, and branding mogul. The money received is part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – part of the $2 trillion CARES Act for economic relief during the pandemic.
Yeezy LLC is listed in the Treasury’s log of recipients receiving loans of between $2 million and $5 million. The company says 160 jobs were saved using the loan. Yeezy LLC is a holding company established in Delaware and managed from a La Palma, California office.
Exclusive Yeezy sneaker partner Adidas reportedly made Kanye West a billionaire last year. Forbes made that status official in April, and more recently declared Kanye the highest-earning musician in the world.
California business records establish Kanye West as the manager of Yeezy LLC.
The loan, coupled with Kanye West’s peculiar announcement that he is running for president in 2020, is strange. West visited the White House shortly after the 2016 presidential election and had high praise for Donald Trump. But if recent tweets are more than bluster, the rapper is ready to spar with his old friend for the upcoming presidency.
Meanwhile, West continues to live an extremely lavish lifestyle, most recently by purchasing a massive Wyoming ranch. Despite announcing that he’s running for president, Kanye West has not taken any formal steps to run.
The to-do list is extremely long. So far, Kanye has not registered with the Federal Election Commission and has not collected enough signatures to appear on the November 2020 ballot. The ‘announcement’ now looks like a simple ploy to get back into the news cycle.
PPP loans are available to companies with fewer than 500 employees. More than 40,000 companies across the United States received PPP assistance. Most PPP assistance was at least $150,000 or above, but the program has been plagued with issues.
Banks prioritized their biggest customers first, leaving small businesses to wither. Trump-friendly business owners – like Kanye West – may have also been shuttled to the front of the line.
Some seemingly ineligible companies also mysteriously received PPP forgivable loans. Digital Music News reported back in May that LiveXLive received a $2 million PPP loan. The company has a market cap of around $200 million, making it anything but a small business.
The U.S. Government will forgive all PPP loans if they are used to retain employees and pay for essential costs. But even if all the funds aren’t used for that purpose, the remaining portion is only subject to a 1% interest rate.
Just weeks after LiveXLive’s $2 million PPP loan went through, the company spent $18 million buying PodcastOne. The deal was all-stock, though the cash portion required to complete the deal was at least $1.4 million. Several large companies have returned the PPP loans they applied for (and received) after public outcry – but not LiveXLive.