As of Monday, Oct. 18, Kanye West is no more. The rapper officially changed his name to Ye, with a judge's approval this week. His latest Instagram post went up at around the same time, showing a pattern of some kind shaved into the back of his head.
Ye posted a photo on Monday afternoon showing his head with patches of hair remaining in jagged patterns between swaths of shaved skin. He wore a silver chain in the picture with old ornaments of old gothic letters facing the camera. He captioned the post with the symbol "¥," which is the sign for Japanese yen and Chinese yuan. This indicated that his post somehow related to his successful name change.
Ye has discussed changing his name since at least 2018, but he did not file for the change until Aug. 24 of this year. He requested to go by the name Ye with no middle or last name, and in his application, he wrote that this change was for "personal reasons," according to a report by Deadline. Generally speaking, it is considered easy to get a legal name change in California, though it can be more tricky for famous people as it raises questions about copyright and trademark.
For Ye, it went relatively smoothly. The rapper's case went to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court, who officially approved the change on Monday. So far, Ye has not changed his Instagram handle, so that may be one of the last remaining vestiges of the identity he is seeking to put behind him.
Ye discussed this name change in a 2018 radio interview with Big Boy, claiming that "ye" is the most frequently used word in the Bible. In that context, it is likely used as the archaic plural form of the word "you," as well as the archaic form of the wod "the." Merriam Webster online notes that it is "now used especially in ecclesiastical or literary language."
For now, Ye's ex-wife Kim Kardashian West has decided to retain her married surname, even as her ex-husband abandons in. She even went by the name last week when she hosted Saturday Night Live. Many fans are speculating on social media about how much the name change has to do with the divorce, and whether there will be an answering stunt from Kardashian.
At the time of this writing, music streaming services are generally still listing Ye's work under the name "Kanye West." The rapper has not issued any further public statement on his name change.