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Kanye West isn’t scared of having another breakdown like the one that left him hospitalized in November 2016, even though at the time he thought he was going to die.
“The moment when you’re in a hospital bed and you’re next to your friend and you tell them, ‘Don’t let this person leave my side,’ and they put you inside of an elevator and take all your friends away from you? That was the scariest moment of my life,” West, 40, told Charlamagne tha God in a wide-ranging interview released Tuesday. “I thought I was going to get killed.”
He added, “My wife wasn’t in town, so I told [my friends], ‘Don’t leave my side until my wife gets here.’ And they have this moment where they’re forced to leave your side, and that has to change … I can’t express to you how traumatizing that moment is, and then you wake up drugged the f—k out.”
West explained that the breakdown was a result of exhaustion from touring, as well as stress and “manipulation — being a pawn in a chess [game] of life,” and that he believed his competitive nature in his career, as well as the turmoil surrounding wife Kim Kardashian‘s harrowing robbery just one month earlier, took its toll on him psychologically. He noted that since the incident, he and Kardashian, 37, no longer keep art, jewelry or money anywhere that their three children may be staying.
“I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or as I like to call it ‘the breakthrough,’” he said. “I’m happy [the breakdown] happened. I’m happy to have gone to the other side and back.”
West revealed that he is currently on medication, though he wouldn’t specify which drugs he’d been prescribed, saying only, “[Medication is] an imperfect solution to just calm me down, but there are a lot of ways to calm down.”
Despite his psychological struggles, West has yet to see an actual therapist to cope.
“I use the world as my therapist,” he said. “Anyone I talk to is my therapist. 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.”
Yeezy also discussed politics, expressing that he holds a bit of a grudge against former President Barack Obama, who called West a “jackass” after he infamously interrupted Taylor Swift‘s 2009 MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech (and sparked a nearly decade-long beef with the singer). West claims it was especially hurtful to him because he and his mother, Donda, had actively campaigned for Obama and performed at events in his honor.
“You know, he never called me to apologize [for the comment],” West griped. “The same person that sat down with me and my mom, I think should’ve communicated to me directly and been like, ‘Yo, Ye, you, you know what it is. I’m in the room and it was just a joke.’ … I just think that we were in a period where he had so much stuff to deal with, he couldn’t deal with a wild card like me. I think that’s too unpredictable. Someone that wasn’t being controlled by strategy and thoughts, but someone who’s acting on feelings.”
He added, “I’m your favorite artist. You play ‘Touch the Sky’ at your inauguration, and now, all a sudden, Kendrick [Lamar] and Jay and all the people you invite to the White House, like, now these your favorite rappers … you know I’m your favorite but I’m not safe. But that’s why you love me! So just tell me you love me,” he continued. “And tell the world you love me! Don’t tell the world I’m a jackass.”
As for his outspoken support of President Donald Trump, the rapper — who’s been spotted rocking an autographed “Make America Great Again” hat — clarified that he doesn’t necessarily support the POTUS’ policies, but he does like his communication style.
“I don’t have all the answers that a celebrity is supposed to have, but I can tell you that when he was running, I felt something. The fact that he won, it proves something. It proves that anything is possible in America. That Donald Trump can be president of America. I’m not talking about what he’s done since he’s been in office, but the fact that he was able to do it,” he said. “When I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that … The Trump campaign and the Bernie Sanders principles, that would be my thing.”
More than any other political or social aspirations, however, West is determined to change the way mental health is perceived in the mainstream.
“I want to change the stigma off the word ‘crazy,’ ” he said. “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.”
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