Kanye West has revealed that he was diagnosed with a “mental condition” at the age of 39, and considers it a “superpower” that apparently helps fuel his creativity.
West, 40, talked about his diagnosis in an interview with radio personality Big Boy after debuting his new album, “Ye,” at a listening party in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole on Thursday.
“I had never been diagnosed until I was like 39 years old,” the rapper said, clarifying that he was “diagnosed with a mental condition.” But “like I said on the album,” he added, “it’s not a disability, it’s a superpower.”
The rapper didn’t name the condition, but he has referred to bipolar disorder on “Ye.” The artwork for the album also features a photo of mountains, with a hand-written scrawl reading: “I hate being bipolar it’s awesome.”
In one of his new tracks, “Yikes,” he raps: “That’s my bipolar shit, nigga what? That’s my superpower, nigga. Ain’t no disability. I’m a superhero! I’m a superhero!” He also raps about contemplating suicide — and murder.
Kanye said he “completely redid” his album after the backlash from his inflammatory comments on TMZ last month where he stated slavery “sounds like a choice” (and that he’s a fan of Donald Trump). He said he even “took out a bar” referring to his position because it was “just too sensitive to talk about that topic.”
Kanye said he felt “so blessed and so privileged,” even with his mental struggles, that he can come back from the controversy that arose because of his slavery comments.
“Think about people that have mental issues that are not Kanye West, that can’t go and make that [an album] and make it feel like it’s all good. Think about somebody that does exactly what I did at TMZ ... at work ... and they [lose] their job ... That’s why God put that on me at age 40,” he said.
Asked why he named his album “Ye,” he explained: “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible.” (It’s not.)
“And in the Bible, it means ‘you,’” he continued. “So ... I’m you. I’m us. It’s us ... I’m just more of a reflection of who we are.”
Kanye also shared his views of the great beyond in the interview.
“It’s a beautiful time to be alive,” he told Big Boy. “We’ve been here before, and we’re gonna be here again. I’m going to see you again. And I’m going to tell you [that] this next life, too.”
Big Boy responded: “You probably told me before.”
Check out the entire interview below. Kanye’s discussions about his mental health and the TMZ controversy begin at 6:00.