Kanye West held a listening party in Wyoming this weekend to celebrate the release of his new album, Ye. Among the topics West covers on his eighth album is mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. Kanye has alluded to mental health issues in prior work, but in the single titled “Yikes,” he confronts it head on and even seems to embrace it at times.
When the rapper sat down to talk to radio personality Big Boy, Hypebeast reports that Kanye got personal about his bipolar diagnosis. The artist said that he wasn’t diagnosed until he was 39-years-old and that he considers himself blessed that he’s able to go into the studio and create something when he’s on the dark side of being bipolar. He’s learned to see his illness as a gift and even says in some lyrics on his newest album that he views it as a superpower, not a disability.
His bipolar diagnosis shows up throughout the new seven-song album. Kanye reportedly created the album cover on the way to the Wyoming party. It shows a photo of a mountain range with the words “I hate being Bi-Polar it’s awesome” scrawled across it. The album opens with a song titled “I Thought About Killing You” in which he talks about the dark thoughts that go through his mind when he’s in the depressed state of his bipolar disorder.
Kanye told Big Boy that he tried to just be true to himself with his latest album.
“I think it came from me just going against mass opinion and I was able to find my voice, my voice… I just had to stand in front of that board every morning and ask myself, ‘Do these songs truly make me happy? Are these songs I want to play back? Do these songs make me cry?'”
Rolling Stone reports that West also talked about tweaking some lyrics following the backlash he received for some controversial things he said about slavery, saying that they “really honed in on the word.”
“We know now, it’s all headlines… Every bar can be used… I took a bar off the album. It was just too sensitive about that topic and stuff.”
About the album title, Ye, the rapper said it actually has its roots in the Bible. The word means you. “So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us. It went from Kanye, which means ‘the only one,’ to just Ye “