Kanye West On Drug Addiction, Jay Z, Slavery and More: 9 Things We Learned From His Recent Interviews
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Kanye West is opening up like never before.
The 40-year-old rapper may be expressing his thoughts and opinions on Twitter, but on Tuesday, he came clean in real life, getting candid in two lengthy sit downs. Kanye sat down with Charlamagne tha God from iHeartRadio’s The Breakfast Club for a two-hour interview and later made an appearance on TMZ Live, where he revealed a past drug addiction, a plastic surgery procedure, got candid about his mental breakdown, beef with JAY-Z and so much more.
Now, ET is rounding up nine things we learned from his eye-opening interviews.
1. He was addicted to opioids after having liposuction.
During his appearance on TMZ Live, Kanye claimed he was addicted to opioids after having liposuction in 2016.
"Two days before I was in the hospital, I was on opioids. I was addicted to opioids," West confessed. "I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y'all."
"I got liposuction because I didn't want y'all to call me fat, like y'all called Rob [Kardashian] at the wedding, and made him fly home before me and Kim [Kardashian] got married. I didn't want y'all to call me fat, so I got liposuction, and they gave me opioids," he continued. "And I started taking two of them and driving to work on the opioids."
It was during his 2016 Saint Pablo Tour that West said he got hooked, before a member of his team told him the drug "kills genius." "So I didn't take it," the rapper recalled. "Two days later, I was in the hospital."
2. The infamous Taylor Swift VMA moment and Kim Kardashian's robbery led him to his hospitalization.
Kanye calls his breakdown a "breakthrough," though he said that his feud with Taylor Swift, his wife Kim Kardashian's robbery and stress led him to his many problems. When asked what he thinks caused his breakdown, Kanye answered candidly, "Fear, stress, being in control, manipulation, like being a pawn in a chess piece of life."
"Ever since the Taylor Swift moment, it had never been the same -- the connection with radio," he added, "Whatever the powers that be, it was much harder."
Kanye told Charlamagne that he also had trouble dealing with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, being robbed at gunpoint while she in Paris, France, in the fall of 2016.
"The situation with my wife in Paris and feeling helpless," he said. "I went to Paris on that trip to protect her -- not to protect her physically, but to go and help her with her look because she's in Paris. One of the things that she heard was they were coming to rob her, but they had to wait until I had left."
"All these things were set up to put me on meds. The robbery, I don't know where that came from. Was that a bigger plan, a bigger set up? Also, being on stage four times a week, you get exhausted," he shared.
3. His feud with JAY-Z left him feeling "hurt."
"I was hurt about them not coming to the wedding. I understand they were going through some things, but if it's family, you're not going to miss a wedding," he told Charlamagne. "I gotta state my truth."
"You just start coming up with all types of crazy things in your head," Kanye added, noting that he started to feel "like the cousin that you can't bring around."
4. He relayed some controversial opinions on slavery and black icons.
When commenting about Harriet Tubman potentially being on the $20 bill, Kanye said he'd rather "use Bitcoin."
“It’s like when you see all the slave movies. Why you gotta keep reminding us about slavery? Why don’t you show us — put Michael Jordan on a $20 bill," he expressed. He then referenced Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and said that certain icons are not relatable anymore.
"I know this is going to cause an uproar, but certain icons are just too far in the past and not relatable and that’s what makes them safe," he said. Additionally, during his TMZ Live interview he added: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? We’re mentally in prison."
5. He wants to change the stigma around mental health.
“I want to change the stigma of crazy, of mental health — period,” he told Charlamagne. “Best believe I’m going to take the stigma off the word crazy.”
6. To him, the "Kanye Rants" are about bravery and the importance of feelings.
"I think to do the rants were brave. I think we're in a place now where bravery is more important than perfection. Feeling is more important than thought," he expressed. "People put so much thought into it, what's going to happen? So I actually think the rant came from a place of bravery and I had enough of the politics."
7. His views on Donald Trump are about "challenging the norm."
Earlier this month, Kanye's tweets about Donald Trumpcaused controversy on social media.
“I love challenging the norm. I love people who don’t love him. I love the fact that they speaking up and everybody’s just giving their opinions," he told Charlamagne. "I been waiting for this moment in time. This is like a 'Ye moment in time.”
"I can tell you that when he was running, it’s like I felt something," he added when asked about Trump's attitude towards minorities. "The fact that he won proves something. It proves that anything is possible in America. When I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that.”
8. He still loves Barack Obama, even after the former POTUS called him a "jackass."
“Nobody’s perfect,” he said. “I love Obama. I’m sure we’ll hang out, go to Richard Branson’s island. It’ll be cool. I just think that we were in a period where he had so much stuff to do that he couldn’t deal with a wild card like me.”
9. He's still grateful for his relationship with Scooter Braun, even if he thinks he "just can't be managed."
This month, Kanye parted ways with his former manager, Scooter Braun. But the two seem to have a strong friendship.
“My last and final manager was Scooter Braun. I just can’t be managed. What’s dope about Scooter at the end of the day, his parents adopted a black child. His brother’s black," he expressed. "This is a Jewish guy who understands business, but also understands how to communicate on a personal level with a black person. Like on a brother level. Me and Scooter would get on the phone and he would talk to me for hours. And that information meant everything. He was Kanye West’s gateway drug to business.”
For more on Kanye, watch below.
Kanye West Says He Was Addicted to Opioids After Having Liposuction
Kanye West Admits He Was 'Hurt' When JAY-Z and Beyonce Missed His and Kim Kardashian's Wedding
Kanye West Says 'Taylor Swift Moment' and Kim Kardashian's Robbery Led to His Breakdown