Having his hands in not one, not two, but five different albums this spring, Kanye West is headed for the mountains to prepare. The 40-year-old rapper has reportedly secluded himself from Los Angeles to Wyoming, where he plans to work on his albums in peace.
TMZ reports that West flew to a rented mountaintop home Wednesday, where he has spent much of his time over the past few months, flying in various rappers and producers like Kid Cudi, Travis Scott and Nas to help with his music.
He'll reportedly stay for "at least several weeks" to put the finishing touches on his solo album, his album with Kid Cudi, and the three other records he's preparing behind the scenes as a producer.
West's solo album is due out June 1 and will consist of seven songs, according to a tweet from The Life of Pablo rapper. A week later, his album with Kid Cudi, called Kids See Ghost, will hit shelves on June 8. Kid Cudi was formerly signed to West's label, GOOD Music, and has collaborated frequently with West, most notably on "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "All of the Lights."
The album announcements were the first of West's tweets that have since set off a storm of controversy, with many wondering if he's suffering from the same symptoms akin to his mental breakdown and hospitalization in 2016.
But he argued in an interview with Charlemagne tha God on iHeartRadio's The Breakfast Club show that he's nowhere near that mental state today.
“I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or I like to say the breakthrough,” he said 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.”
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.
West spoke with TMZ Tuesday about his struggle with opioids due to the liposuction procedure he underwent.
“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.
He 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.0comments
“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.
It seems unlikely that West's music will receive the same treatment in 2018; the summer of hip-hop music will almost certainly belong to West, considering he has his hand in five of the most anticipated albums of the year.