In a nearly two hour-long interview released on Tuesday with Charlamagne tha God from iHeartRadio’s The Breakfast Club, the 40-year-old rapper opens up for the first time about the events that led to him being hospitalized in November 2016 after abruptly canceling his remaining Saint Pablo tour dates.
When asked what he thinks caused his breakdown, Kanye answers candidly, "Fear, stress, being in control, manipulation, like being a pawn in a chess piece of life."
Kanye says there were a few things bothering him at that time, one of which was that the tracks off his album, Life of Pablo, were not getting played on the radio as much as he would have liked. He alludes that this was because of the feud that ignited between him and Taylor Swift after he called her a "b***h" in his song, "Famous."
"Ever since the Taylor Swift moment, it had never been the same -- the connection with radio," he notes, adding that the departure ofL.A. Reid from Universal Music may have also had something to do with his songs not getting airplay. "Whatever the powers that be, it was much harder."
Kanye tells Charlamagne that he also had trouble dealing with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, being robbed at gunpoint while she was in Paris, France.
"The situation with my wife in Paris and feeling helpless," he says. "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."
In addition to all this, the father of three says his tour schedule was hard on him, as he was performing onstage four nights a week. "You get exhausted up there," he explains.
When asked if he went to therapy after his breakdown, Kanye replies, "I use the world as my therapist. Anybody I talk to is my therapist. I will pull them into the conversation of how I'm feeling at that point."
As for how he's doing now, Kanye says he's in a "stronger place," noting that he tends to refer to his breakdown as a "breakthrough."
"I'm going to take the stigma off the word crazy," he proclaims.
Back in November 2016, a source told ET that the rapper's breakdown was "a combination of a lot of issues," including "stress, anxiety and paranoia."
"He just broke," the source said. "I think a lot of people realized he couldn't do it all, even though he tried, and he just broke down."
A year and a half later, Kanye is back in the news, thanks to his spirited, albeit controversial, return to Twitter. Here's a look at his latest tweets: