Kanye West is negotiating with producers to become an "American Idol" judge ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the production tell TMZ, "Idol" honchos reached out to Kanye recently about filling one of the open judging spots ... and Kanye expressed interest.
But that doesn't mean he's on board -- we're told Yeezy is still unsure about accepting the gig. The way it was put to us ... "He's on the fence," because he's not sure if "A.I." is in his wheelhouse.
And there's another big hang up -- cash. Informed sources tell TMZ ... "Idol" would "at least match Mariah's salary" -- a cool $18 mil a year.
It looks like Nicki Minaj is either close to signing a deal or has signed one to become a judge, but we're told producers may well add a 4th judge. As we reported, the frontrunners are Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Enrique Iglesias, but Kanye would clearly trump them all.
Calls to Kanye's camp were not returned.