Kanye West revealed that he isn’t letting the ‘stigma’ around mental health ‘define’ who he is and wants to ‘show people’, including Jay-Z, that he’s ‘not crazy’, in a new podcast interview with Nick Cannon.
Kanye West, 43, wants to prove to people that having mental health issues does not mean he’s “crazy”. The rapper touched upon how others may see and judge him based on how he’s portrayed after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, in a new interview with Nick Cannon, 39, on the Cannon’s Class podcast, and admitted that he’s ready to show people, including fellow rapper Jay-Z, 50, that he has “worth”. “So I’m thinking people call me crazy so I’m going to show them, I’m gonna even show my big bro I’m not crazy,” Kanye said in the interview. “I’m going to show Jay-Z, I’ma, you know, I’m gonna show him that, you know, that my value, that you could be diagnosed and people could point fingers at you, and you could still be a citizen and you could still have value.”
Kanye went on to talk about the stigma around mental health and the disorders that some people can have, and said he’s never let it stop him from being himself and doing what he’s passionate about. “I didn’t let the stigma define who I was so the funny thing is, so I’m like, boom,” he said. “It’s gonna be, you know, they’re gonna see that, you know, ‘I ate, I ate up all my vegetables’,” he added while imitating a child’s voice and laughing.
“And then I cried for my daughter, and they said ‘he’s crazy again’,” he continued. “Let me tell you, it’s like, forget value and money in that way because I thought that if I would become a billionaire, that it could help me beat the stigma. It’s funny cause I got friends that soon as someone says, ‘Oh, Ye ain’t take his meds’, they be like, ‘You need to take your meds!” and they could shun me and it’s literally like how people would treat black people a hundred years ago.”
Kanye first opened up about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder while speaking with radio personality Big Boy in June 2018. “I had never been diagnosed until I was 39,” he said while also mentioning how he rapped about it in his track “Yikes” from his album Ye. “But like I said on the album, it’s not a disability, it’s a superpower.”
By Oct. 2018, though, he seemed to dispute his bipolar diagnosis when he sat down for a chat with President Donald Trump, 74, in the Oval Office. “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was connected with a neuropsychologist that worked with athletes in the NBA and the NFL,” he explained. “So, he said that I actually wasn’t bipolar, [but] I had sleep deprivation, which could cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now where I wouldn’t even remember my son’s name. So all this power that I got, and I’m taking my son to the Sox game and all that, I wouldn’t be able to remember his name. From a misdiagnosis.”
By May 2019, Kanye seemed to accept being bipolar once again during an in-depth interview with David Letterman, 73. “When you’re bipolar, you have a potential to ramp up,” Kanye he told David on the show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. He went on to say that the disorder “could take you to a point to where you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it.”
Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, 39, has also publicly talked about Kanye’s diagnosis on more than one occasion, including during a 2019 interview with Vogue, in which she admitted that he can’t always take his medication. “For him, being on medication is not really an option, because it just changes who he is,” she said.