Kanye West Says He's 'Privileged' After Slavery Comments on TMZ
In his first interview following the release of his album, “ye,” Kanye West sat down with radio host Big Boy to talk about his new music — and the controversy leading up to it.
Using his album, West confirmed he had bipolar disorder, both on the album cover, which reads, “I hate being Bi-Polar. It’s awesome,” and on a track called “Yikes,” where he says bipolar disorder is his superpower, “no disability.”
The album comes after West was criticized for both his support of President Donald Trump, and for comments he said during an interview with TMZ stating that slavery was a choice.
West told Big Boy he redid his whole album after the TMZ interview and acknowledged it was a privilege he could release an album after the comments he made.
I’m so blessed and so privileged because think about people that have mental issues that are not Kanye West. That can’t go and make that, and make it feel like it’s all good. Think about somebody who does exactly what I did on TMZ, and they just do that at work. Tuesday morning they come in and lost their job.
When Big Boy asked how it felt when people couldn’t separate “personal Kanye” from “artist Kanye,” West said this tension brought him energy leading up to the release of his album.
I started getting all this energy. Some say it’s negative, positive. I don’t believe in negative, positives. I just believe in energy and that started coming, and I was like, I know what to do with this. I’m taking all that in. Give me everything you got, I want all the smoke, I want whatever you got. Give it, bring it, you know. I know what to do with the energy.
Although we can’t confirm West is describing mania, it does sound reminiscent of how some Mighty contributors with bipolar disorder have described their experiences. For example, Mighty contributor Likhitha Muralikrishna wrote in a piece called “Mania Through My Eyes“:
I was walking down a street one evening, buzzing with energy. You could literally see sparks fly. I heard strange whispers in my ear. It was my own voice. I sounded different. It sounded like me, but a different version of me. I was the boring girl who woke up every day to go to work, but she wasn’t like that. She woke up every day eager to start an exciting new adventure. That day, she took pity on my boring self. I could see her step out of me and mirror me. It was me, but it was also not me… It was a new way of looking at things. Why didn’t I ever see the world like this before?
Although bipolar mania is often associated with bursts of creativity — and isn’t inherently bad — some have negative experiences with mania or have devastating crashes afterward. Many with bipolar disorder said they felt West was romanticizing this particular symptom. They also said having bipolar wasn’t an excuse for his questionable comments about slavery and his political views. Less pleasant symptoms of mania include extreme irritability, spending sprees, aggressive behavior and hypersexuality.
One Twitter user shared, “Sure being bipolar is a superpower when you make millions of dollars and face little to no repercussions for the things you say/do, however normal people who are bipolar sometimes can’t sustain relationships, jobs, or normal day to day lives. but keep on glorifying it kanye.”
As someone with bipolar disorder, Kanye’s depiction of it on his album is cheap & not translated well.
Never once in my 19 years of living has a manic or depressive episode turned me full MAGA. It’s a weak artistic concept & no amount of soul samples can make me think otherwise
— Daytona (@HunterReddeh) June 1, 2018
sure being bipolar is a superpower when you make millions of dollars and face little to no repercussions for the things you say/do, however normal people who are bipolar sometimes can’t sustain relationships, jobs, or normal day to day lives. but keep on glorifying it kanye
— ???? (@kittycami_) June 1, 2018
Kanye's album doesnt represent bipolar disorder accurately. He describes mania as a superpower as if everyone understands the context he gives. Mania can be debilitating and its agony wondering if youre happy or manic. You cant enjoy moods.
— Infrared Boy (@giidgrief) June 1, 2018
Kanye was talking real rec and calling it “free thinking.” Now that it’s album time, he wanna jakk being bipolar. I don’t respect people who use their mental illness as an excuse for being a shitty person.
— aaliyah. (@aaliyahnj) June 1, 2018
You can watch the full interview below: