In a wide-ranging new interview with WSJ. Magazine that spans several months, the 42-year-old rapper addresses his hospitalization in November 2016 after abruptly canceling his remaining Saint Pablo tour dates. A source claimed to ET at the time that West had "a mental breakdown," in large part due to his busy work schedule.
West compares his experience to Ryan Reynolds' character in Deadpool, the superhero movie that came out the same year he was hospitalized. Reynolds plays Wade Wilson in the film, who after offering to undergo an experimental cure for terminal cancer, is taken to a facility and tortured. He eventually gains superhero powers, but is left disfigured with scars.
"I've been through Deadpool. You know that movie?" West asks.
He also compares his experience to kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer at the seams.
"I had an actual mental breakdown from attempting to put together all of the pieces," he says.
These days, West has hardly slowed down. He's still busier than ever with his Yeezy fashion line, and he also tells the magazine that he's working on a new album in Mexico in the spring.
"I do not like the word ambitious. I'm Kanye West," he says. "The word ambitious is beneath my abilities. I'm just a doer. You can see in my eyes there's not one bit of fear."
West talks about his ideas for the future, including selling a $60 hoodie in neutral colors that he wants to sell at Costco.
"I like Costco as an idea," he says. "I like Walmart, too."
"This collection is couture for the service industry," he also says of his Yeezy Collection reboot, though he doesn't want to talk about the items' costs.
"We're not focusing on prices right now," he shares. "We're only focusing on creativity."
West is currently quarantining with his wife, Kim Kardashian, and their four kids at their home in Calabasas, California, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Later, West discusses the backlash he's received for his support of President Donald Trump, and the magazine notes that he has a direct line to Jared Kushner at the White House. West says he has a problem with the labels and expectations put on him as a rapper and a college dropout more than anything.
"I'm a black guy with a red [MAGA] hat, can you imagine? ...It reminded me of how I felt as a black guy before I was famous, when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something," he says. "'This is your place, Ye, don't talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you're black, so you're a Democrat.'"
"Everything is about putting people in their place. Classism, protectionism -- not just racism," he adds. "Classism is like living on a bookshelf. The more money you have, the higher you go. And you get to the top and look over and what do you see? Fear."
West does acknowledge he's had some major disappoints along the way, including when his best friend, Virgil Abloh, was hired as artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear in 2018 -- a job he wanted for himself. He also says luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH pulled out of talks with him about creating his own label, though they eventually inked a deal with Rihanna for her own luxury fashion line, Fenty. Still, he knows he's not doing too badly for himself these days.
"I got to live out every version of ego -- rapper, I had my own [version of] Jordans, I'm married to Kim Kardashian West," he says.
Above all though, West is a proud dad. Earlier this month, his 6-year-old daughter, North, stole the show at his Yeezy Season 8 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week with a surprise rap performance. Watch the video below for more: