Kanye West’s newly released album Ye touches on a wide range of topics; however, some of the most memorable lines appeared on the project’s second track, “Yikes,” in which Kanye seemingly confirmed his diagnosis of bipolar disorder:
That’s my third person
That’s my bipolar shit, nigga what?
That’s my superpower, nigga ain’t no disability
I’m a superhero! I’m a superhero!
The outro left some fans scratching their heads. Was this an admission? Or was Kanye simply playing off the widespread speculations surrounding his mental health? Well, on the night of the album’s listening session in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Chicago-bred artist revealed he was, in fact, diagnosed with “a mental condition” at the age of 39.
He shared this detail during an interview on BigBoyTV when he spoke about his privilege as an artist and being able to use music to deal with controversies and backlash.
“Think about people that have mental issues that are not Kanye West, that can’t go and make that [album] and make it feel like it’s all good,” he said at the 7:20 mark. “Think about somebody that does exactly what I did at TMZ. and they just do that at work, right? But Tuesday morning, they come in and they lost their job […] That’s why God put that on me at age 40. I never been diagnosed until I was 39 years old—diagnosed with a mental condition. […] But like I said on the album, it’s not a disability, it’s a superpower.”
Kanye also discusses the reasoning behind his seven-song tracklists, his decision to scrap the album one month before it dropped, as well as the inspiration behind the Ye title.
“I believed ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible,” he said (2:08) “And in the Bible it means ‘you.’ I’m you, I’m us. It’s us. It went from being ‘Kanye’ which means ‘the only one; to just ‘ye’—just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”