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Zealots: Kanye Omari West

In the throes of mental anguish, any schizoid at many times in this person’s life — Kanye Omari West — identified and sympathized with him. Moreover, his path perfectly captured the highs and lows felt by those suffering from mental illness. The moments he wished to retract, remain forever etched in his legacy. Just like the mentally afflicted his actions resounded as mishaps until the actual diagnosis. The diagnosis, Bipolar Disorder and the prognosis, rocky, just like the mountains juxtaposed in his album cover, Ye.

Affectionately referred to by some by Ye or Yeezy. This piece addresses Kanye Omari West’s identity as a victim of mental illness. Though he envisions his illness as a superpower. His actual condition illustrates his need for medical attention. No, this article will not serve as another biographical take on Ye. Instead, one makes the case for Kanye’s identity and agency. As for what he believes to be a superpower.

Kanye Omari West’s First Brush with Mental Illness

Kanye Omari West first vocalized his symptoms on July 24, 2015 on the unfinished track “I Feel Like That.” However he later also claims his first brush with mental illness to have occurred at the age of 5. On the track, he croons alongside a melodramatic audio backdrop. Refraining what seems as a symptom inquiry for a psychiatric consult. In truth, this possibly encompassed the first admission. By Kanye of his grappling with mental illness. Since then, he has forged a path enviable by most. In 2016 he released The Life of Pablo which highlighted in brief, his use of Lexapro in the song “FML.” Kanye Omari West never shies away from his diagnosis. Furthermore, he wields an immense weight of contention against the idea of mental illness as a disability.

If Kanye’s story does not assuage one’s concerns of mental “disabilities.” Then his success certainly should. Now the richest black man in America’s history. Kanye West’s legacy rejects the notion of damning disabilities. His status, as billionaire, achieved some years after his diagnosis, serves as testament. Prior to his diagnosis, he endured an involuntary psychiatric hold at Los Angeles’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He received his diagnosis the following year as a manic depressive. Additionally, his diagnosis tacked on some time later in age than the majority whose symptoms often appear in late teens. 

Kanye Omari West and Therapeutic Artistry

On the topic of the album Ye, comes almost the full weight of Kanye’s experiences with mental illness. In the first song, “I Thought About Killing You” Kanye ruminates on his thoughts of suicide and homicide. 21SCHIZM identifies with these concepts. At times these thoughts capitulate all logic and manifest in negative actions. Personally, both premature suicide and deficient attempts of homicide have transpired. Neither of these types of thoughts surmounted in adverse consequences for any of the aforementioned parties.

Ye’s Declaration of Mental Illness as his Superpower

 The second song “Yikes,” frames the terror that accompanies a relapse and the events surrounding it. This song yields the bold declaration of mental disabilities as a superpower. This ideal reflects the phenomenon noted by many key figures in history. The ideal touts that many or most successful people possess some mental deficiency or impediment that cripples them. In true Kanye fashion, he rejects the concept of a condition defining him. He declares the disability as a creative advantage, i.e. a  superpower.

Although these episodes stand as Kanye’s pillared experiences with mental health. A lesser known fact asserts another episode at the age of 5. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Kanye relays this tidbit of a blackout. His mother chooses against taking him to the doctor. Thus, begins his battle with mental bondage. Later in the interview he reflects on his use of the word crazy. He promises in lessening his usage and associations with the word.

Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

Kanye Omari West and his “Power”

All things considered, Kanye’s legacy offers hope for a multitude of the mentally bound. His bold character and forefront ego lay claim to the spoils of a disability rich with creative history. Certainly, his testimony and precedent themselves. They solidify the notion of a resilient naysayer. That voice clinging onto one’s psyche remains nothing more than an outlet for outright redemption. Regardless, of the bondage attributed to the individual. Kanye’s story and persona inquires, “Why not you?” He constantly retorts against the victim mentality. He forces the superpowered toward better horizons. Kanye Omari West is a brash “Zealot” and wants everyone to recognize him as such.  

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