The American rapper's music is a hit with one of Moscow's most senior officials
Following rumors that Kanye West is looking to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and stage performances in the country, Moscow's deputy foreign minister has voiced his admiration of the US hip-hop star's work.
Speaking as part of an interview on Thursday with RTVI TV channel, Sergey Ryabkov revealed his opinions on the rap legend - who legally changed his name to Ye last year.
"Mr Ye - he has always experimented with music, with sound boosting... with processing his voice," the official said, commenting on the musician's production. "You can hear the harmony in his compositions, if you take away some of the modern processing."
He went on, adding that "if you listen to Mr. West... there are some things that can be played well on the balalaika, on the piano, and on the harp... it's interesting."
According to the diplomat, the rapper's music has contributed significantly to the hip-hop scene. "And I wish I could ask somebody else, not him, as they used to say, 'what have you done in your years for hip-hop,' but he's done a lot in his years."
Ryabkov's remarks come after the Kremlin rejected claims earlier this week that it is working to help the 'Gold Digger' singer touch down in Russia for a meeting with the country's leader after the outlet Billboard reported on his purported plans to invite Putin to one of his 'Sunday Service' shows.
Dmitry Peskov said that he didn't think "the presidential administration is the executor vis-à-vis... the organization of his trip."
When asked whether he or Putin himself is familiar with the rapper's activities and musical output, the press secretary replied that his knowledge was "not in such depth as to make an assessment."
The musician was also said to be eyeing up business ventures with billionaire property tycoon Aras Agalarov and his musician son, Emin, as per the Billboard report, which cited West's close adviser, Ameer Sudan.
West, known for making bizarre statements, fashioned himself as 'Young Putin' during an interview appearance with Revolt TV's 'Drink Champs' podcast last November. "I used to say I was Young Vladimir until I realized I was Vladimir. You know the moment when I realized it was? When I realized 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 said.