Editor's Note: This article was written in late January of 2022
It’s no secret that a lot of people hate Kanye. But why? According to Kim Kardashian, his ex-wife, it “came down to just one thing, his personality" as she stated in an episode of SNL that she hosted Anyone who has social media knows that Kanye often gets himself in some rough situations. The most known incident is in 2009 when he took the spotlight from Taylor Swift at the MTV music awards after she received the best female video for “You Belong With Me.”
Taylor swift was winning her first big award, and Kanye followed her onto the stage to tell her, the crowd, and the millions of people watching from home that Beyonce deserved the award over her. This had to be humiliating for Taylor and Beyonce. Since this Kanye has made his fair share of bad decisions, which all lead back to his personality. Many people refer to him as having a “nasty personality” but, he suffers from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Individuals who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder typically experience manic episodes or hypomanic episodes. Mania are periods of over-active and excited behavior that can have a significant impact on everyday life. Hypomania being a milder version. Kanye’s bipolar disorder is in no way an excuse for his behavior, but it is an explanation. Kim has expressed that she believes he experiences full-blown manic episodes and believes medication is not an option for him.
Why hate someone who is suffering? Kanye has been living with this disorder yet has made a huge name for himself, as he is the richest black man in US history, and he did that with the help of his disorder. Often in his music he talks about the struggles that he faces. In the song FML from his 2019 album The Life of Pablo he says, “You ain’t never seen nothing crazier than; This … when he off his Lexapro.” He then continues to sing about specific episodes and how he could lose all self-control.
In another song of his, Yikes from his 2018 album ye, he says “That’s my bipolar shit, … what? That’s my superpower.” This lyric is so important because it helps others to look at their “disability” as a superhero. Kanye has used it to his advantage in his career and it can inspire others even if it is not always done in a perfect way. He has been able to connect with a specific audience who experience the same things that he does to empower them.
I think that Kanye makes a lot of mistakes, but I do not think that his personality is what people should hate him for when he lives with bipolar disorder causing him to have varying moods. We should all take this into consideration when deciding whether to support him as an artist.