Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told Business Insider on Monday that rapper Kanye West is more serious than people give him credit for.
“He’s a lot more serious,” Carson said of West. “But he also understands the hip-hop culture and he knows how to utilise it to his advantage.”
Carson, a leading Republican presidential candidate, reflected on his relationship with West during a wide-ranging interview promoting his new book, “A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties.”
Because Carson and West have made public statements praising one another in recent weeks, Business Insider asked him about his “budding bromance” with West.
“I wouldn’t call it a budding romance,” Carson responded with a laugh. “He’s a very intelligent young man. He reached out to me. We had a conversation about substantive things. I was very impressed with his knowledge of business.”
The retired doctor went on to tout his own business record.
“Because, as many people don’t know, I’ve got a very extensive business background: 18 years on the Kellogg’s board, 16 years on Costco, and chairman of the board of a biotech company, as well as starting a national nonprofit. And I was very impressed with his knowledge of business principles,” he continued.
Carson said he urged the hip-hop artist to create more positive music for his fans.
“I talked to him about is there a way that maybe he could use his influence — him and some of his buddies, Jay Z etc. — to create music that might be uplifting, particularly to young women,” he said.
Business Insider also asked Carson what it was like speaking to West.
“I’m not sort of a star-struck person. It’s just not who I am. I feel that everybody is of equal value. And that’s the way my whole medical career was and my life is like that,” Carson replied. “But by the same token, I don’t shun people because of their notoriety or reputation either. “
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.