Kanye West’s Mental Health (In His Own Lyrics)

Photo Cred: GETTY IMAGES/MARC PIASECKI

Kanye West is one of the most talked about artist of the last decade for his music, as well as for his antics. What hasn’t been talked about, until recent years, is his mental health. The question of “What’s wrong with Kanye West?” has plagued the public on many occasion. We could speculate that his traumatic car accident, the passing of his mother, the stresses of fame, a plethora of drugs, seemingly infinite amounts of liquor, the power of money, and the numerous traps anyone can fall into that begin the historical downward spiral Hollywood is so famous for instigating are all potential reasons for why Kanye is Kanye. Personally, I believe the answer has always been right in front of our ears. We just have to take a moment to hear past the incredible production we all know and love and pay more attention to the cry for help behind the music. I’ve listened to and analyzed countless hours of Kanye West lyrics and pieced together, what I believe to be, is his current mental state using verses from his own discography and features on other projects. (The following is a creative interpretation of Kanye West’s mental state using his own lyrics from 2004–2016.)


I heard em say / I’m a monster / a problem that would never ever be solved / heard em say / I’m too black, too vocal, I’m too flagrant / they told my mama I was bipolar, had add / you know how all that gossip is / go from being joe blow to / everybody saying I’m the closest thing to Mike since Janet / my father been said I need Jesus / that’s where I get my confidence / of a white male from / my attitude is tattooed / voices in my head / I’m not crazy / I’m just saying / what I feel at the wrong time / cuz my verses got pain / I was 3 years old when my mama divorced my daddy / and it haunted me all the way home / my girl father passed away / my face turned to stone when I heard the news / went through depression when my mama passed / in Hollywood / and what I do / act more stupidly / what kinda talk is / strip club splurges / when I turned on the news and see them burying me / under more scrutiny / the drama people suing me / I see the blood on the leaves / and that right there can drive a sane man bizerk / I’ve been out of my mind a long time / never been the type to bite my words / I know God was holding my hand / as far as the eye could see / I got the money and the fame but / y’all can have it back / I got the Jesus on the chain / but if the Jesus pieces can’t bring me peace then / tell me how you can make it past your caspers / My childlike creativity, purity, and honesty, honestly is being crowded by / life moving too fast / they wanna find me not breathing like they found Mike / but God don’t ever give me nothing I can’t handle / y’all seen my story my glory / the good the bad the ugly / they try to make me out to be the villain for acting like / I lost the only girl in the world that know me best / y’all don’t even understand how it feel / to wake up and be / so paranoid / worried bout the wrong things / I’m lonely / I’m exhausted, barely breathing / having nervous breakdowns / checking my instagram comments to crowdsource my self esteem / I was out here spazzing / you ain’t never seen nothing crazier than this nigga when he off his Lexapro / now you get the message / I just need to clear my mind out / I bottled it up / I hold my head / I look in the mirror and say God is this , is this my destiny / all the fame and the power / and the hours / in the showers / of the diamonds / and the jewels / and the gold / I wonder where I would be if I still had my momma / as the sun sets and the night falls / knowing exactly where my heart is / I let my nightmares go / knowing I was just an artist / they say no one man should have all that power / only problem is i’m rich


What Kanye lyric do you think best describes his current mental state?


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About the author

Savon Bartley is a poet, writer, and educator with a passion for storytelling. Find out more at savonbartley.com