Kanye West is opening up about his health, revealing he previously underwent liposuction in 2016 and that he takes medications following his mental breakdown and hospitalization that fall.
“I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or I like to say the breakthrough,” the rapper, 40, told iHeartRadio’s The Breakfast Club‘s Charlamagne the God in an interview released on Tuesday.
West claimed the breakdown was caused by “fear, stress, being controlled and manipulation,” but also said he was left to feel like “a pawn in a chess piece of life.”
“[I was] stressing things that create validation that I didn’t need to worry about as much. The concept of competition, and being in competition with so many elements at one time,” he said.
At the time of his hospitalization in 2016, West was forced to cancel a large number of shows on his The Life of Pablo tour.
“I’m happy it happened. I’m happy to have gone to the other side and back,” West said about being hospitalized. “I can’t express to you how traumatizing that moment is [when your friends and family leave the hospital] and then you wake up drugged the f— out.”
When asked if he’s currently on medications, West said, “Most definitely. It’s an imperfect solution because it calmed me down. But there’s a lot of ways to calm down. Let ‘Ye be ‘Ye.”
Despite taking medication, West said he has yet to confer with a therapist.
“I use the world as my therapist. Anyone I talk to is my therapist,” he said. “I will pull them into the conversation of what I’m feeling at that point and get their perspective. … I like just talking to acquaintances, friends, family, and I keep them on the phone for 45 minutes at a time, talking through things. It’s kind of narcissistic.”
He added, “I want to change the stigma of the word ‘crazy.’ People will take something that’s enlightened, put it in a different context and call it crazy to diminish the impact and the value of what I’m saying.”
Another factor that led to West’s previous hospitalization was a previously unpublicized liposuction procedure that shocked many fans, as the rapper's mother Donda died following complications from plastic surgery in 2007.
“I was drugged the f— out. I was drugged out. I was on opioids. Two days after I got off opioids, I’m in the hospital. Two days before going to the hospital, I was on opioids. I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y’all,” he said while pointing to the staff of the publication.
“I got liposuction because I didn’t want y’all to call me fat like y’all called Rob [Kardashian] at the wedding and made him fly home before me and Kim got married. I didn’t want y’all to call me fat so I got liposuction, right? And they gave me opioids, right? And I started taking two of them and then driving to work on the opioids,” he said.
West admitted that at the time, he took about seven pills a day.
“Then there was talks in my camp like ‘Ye’s popping pills. … Two days later, I’m in the hospital. I was taking two pills a day at the time. When I left the hospital, how many pills do you think I was given? Seven! I went from taking two pills to taking seven. So the reason that I dropped those tweets and everything is because I was drugged the f— out,” he continued.
West also pointed to lack of radio attention after he released his 2016 single “Saint Pablo” off his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo, as another cause of stress.
“Ever since the Taylor Swift moment, it just had never been the same, the connection with radio,” West revealed, adding that the “radio element was just one of the factors” to his hospitalization.0comments
He also named other “factors” including wife Kim Kardashian‘s October 2016 robbery and his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, which began 45 minutes late.
Photo credit: Getty / Marc Piasecki