Kanye West revealed that religion and acknowledgment of his bipolar disorder helped him through a very public rough patch in his career.
In 2016, West took to Twitter to make the puzzling announcement that he was $53 million in debt ahead of the release of his eighth studio album, “Life of Pablo,” as well as a new fashion line. It was the latest in a long line of reportedly erratic behavior from West that ultimately landed the “Yeezus” rapper in a Los Angeles hospital to treat temporary psychosis and sleep deprivation. The stay also forced him to cancel the back half of a potentially lucrative world tour.
Fast-forward to the present, Forbes estimates that West’s various music, fashion and creative endeavors have his pre-tax income exceeding $150 million. In a cover story for the publication, the husband of Kim Kardashian credited a mixture of religion and acceptance with his transformation.
West describes his religious beliefs as, “being in service to Christ, the radical obedience.” He also notes that his bipolar diagnosis gave him some clarity. Not only did he recently tell David Letterman that his experience made him want to change the way people view mental health treatment, but he explained to Forbes that it’s his “superpower.”
However, his main takeaway from his brief bout with psychosis was that he feels people are too liberal with the label “crazy.”
“‘Crazy’ is a word that’s not gonna be used loosely in the future,” West explained. “Understand that this is actually a condition that people can end up in, be born into, driven into and go in and out. And there’s a lot of people that have been called that ‘C’ word that have ended up on this cover.”
West previously opened up about his bipolar disorder on Letterman’s Netflix talk show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” where he explained that the pressure he felt from the outside world contributed to his mental state.
“We're pushed into it. We're driven crazy," West said. "We forget who we even are. We're driven to like a certain type of career that we're supposed to be. We're, like, completely bullied by the media, both celebrities and the masses, to think certain things and have group thought.
"Like, 'Oh yeah, damn right we're going crazy'," West continued. "I'm the most famous person with [bipolar disorder] and I've only experienced it for two years. What about people that's been experiencing this since they were two?"