Kanye West hasn’t been able to stay out of the spotlight recently, with controversies surrounding his vocal support of Donald Trump, comments about slavery, and accusations that he abandoned his charity organization Donda House dominating the 24-hour news cycle. Since dropping his new album Ye on Friday, the rapper is making headlines again.
West revealed he has bipolar disorder, and he doesn’t view it as a disadvantage. On the track “Yikes,” West’s lyrics state, “That’s my bipolar shit,” adding, “That’s my superpower n----, ain’t no disability.” He later spoke to radio host Big Boy, confirming he was “diagnosed with a mental condition.” In the interview, West emphasizes again that he feels his disorder is his super power because it is part of what allows him to create. The 40-year-old rap legend also hinted that his official diagnosis came recently, saying, “I've never been diagnosed and I was like 39 years old."
In the interview, West touched on the prominence of mental health disorders in America, using language that mental health awareness advocates may have found a powerful friend in the celebrity: “Think about people who have mental issues that are not Kanye West...think about somebody that does exactly what I did at TMZ but they just do it at work. Then Tuesday morning they come back and they lost their job.”
Over the years, there has been much public speculation about West’s health. After a recent onslaught of ill-received tweets, wife Kim Kardashian West pointed out that people shouldn’t make snap judgements because they disagree with West’s politics. On April 25 she tweeted, “Your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair.”
If you are struggling with bipolar disorder and are in need of information and support, please call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-6264. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NAMI” to 741741.