Kanye West says the term ‘crazy’ will not be used as ‘loosely in future’

West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018

Katie O'Malley
Tuesday 09 July 2019 15:50 BST
Kanye West on being bipolar

Kanye West has spoken about the importance of understanding mental health conditions, stating that the term “crazy” will not be used “loosely in future”.

The rapper revealed he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder when promoting his 2018 album Ye, describing it as a “superpower” in his song "Yikes".

In a new interview with Forbes magazine, the father-of-four discussed his condition and the way in which people discuss mental health.

“‘Crazy’ is a word that’s not gonna be used loosely in the future,” West told the publication.

“Understand that this is actually a condition that people can end up in, be born into, driven into and go in and out. And there’s a lot of people that have been called that ‘C’ word that have ended up on this cover,” he added in reference to his position as the cover star of the magazine.

Earlier this year, the fashion designer said that his bipolar symptoms can lead him to feel “hyper-paranoid” about his surroundings.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition which can lead to extreme mood swings, the NHS explains. Symptoms can include periods depression and phases of mania.

In an interview with David Letterman for the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman in May, West detailed his experiences of "ramping up" due to his mental health condition, saying that doing so can make him feel better able to express his personality.

“What I want to say about the bipolar thing is because it has the word ‘bi’ in it, it has the idea of, like, split personality. Well, that works for me because I’m a Gemini, but when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” he said.

West isn’t the only celebrity to have spoken about how their mental health conditions helps them to see the world from a different prospective.

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Earlier this year, teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg explained how the “gift” of living with Asperger syndrome helps her “see things from outside the box” when it comes to climate change.

Also in his interview with Forbes, West opened up about his design process and inspiration behind his footwear line, Yeezy, which he launched with Nike in 2009.

Citing former Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as his idol, the designer said: “I am a product guy at my core.

“To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that’s the problem-solving that I love to do.”

West added that his childhood obsession with the Lamborghini Countach (his father took him to an auto show featuring the sports car), has meant that there is a “little bit of Lamborghini” in everything he does.

“Yeezy is the Lamborghini of shoes,” he noted.

The designer, who is married to entrepreneur Kim Kardashian-West, first flexed his design muscles when he created a shoe for the Japanese apparel company A Bathing Ape in 2007, which featured a teddy bear logo which similarly appeared on many of the singer’s early album covers.

As a result, West said that the opportunity resulted in him forging numerous friends in the industry including Hedi Slimane, the former creative director of Dior Homme and Yves Saint Laurent.

“You’re going to do something really strong in shoes,” he recalled Slimane once telling him.

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Opening up about his relationship with his wife of four years, West said that given the couple’s busy work schedules, they often swap ideas about their businesses during “bedtime true-crime story meetings”, which involves the reality star watching police procedurals while West shows her his design concepts.

“He pushes people to do their best and pushes people even outside of their comfort zone, which really helps people grow,” Kardashian West said of West’s work ethic.

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