As we discussed yesterday, Kanye West gave a lengthy interview to David Letterman for Dave’s Netflix interview series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The early quotes from the interview were about Kanye’s politics, and how he’s still a g–damn Trump supporter who thinks he’s being “bullied” whenever anyone asks him “why are you supporting a racist fascist?” Obviously, there was a lot more in the interview. Apparently, at one point, Kanye references Drake, someone he’s had beef with several times. Kanye doesn’t mention Drake by name, instead referring to him as “an artist which I will not mention because I’m not allowed to mention him or any of his family members.” I wonder who told him he’s not allowed? Kim? And there’s more from the interview – Kanye sounding like an utter douchebag about the Me Too movement, and going in-depth about his bipolar disorder.
On the #MeToo movement: “We as a society are constantly in fear,” Kanye said. Dave responded, “Well you mention a general fear of the male side of this situation. I would submit that it’s not equal by any equation to the fear women feel being the other side of that.” The crowd then cheered. “I’m definitely supportive of the women,” Kanye said. “What I’m saying is we’re not allowed to have any conversation. When you go to court, both sides can talk. This is a court of public opinion where when someone bombs first, the war is supposedly over.”
What happens when he has a bipolar “episode”: “When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything. Everyone — this is my experience, other people have different experiences — everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things. You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone.”
He needed to be handcuffed during one episode: “They have this moment where they put you — they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know. That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment. When you are in that state, you have to have someone you trust. It is cruel and primitive to do that.”
What happens if he’s unmedicated: “If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital. And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it… When you ramp up, it expresses your personality more. You can become almost more adolescent in your expression. This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now.”
The sprained brain: “It’s a health issue that has a strong stigma on it and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way. This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more. With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse.”
I think the way he explains his bipolar disorder is very interesting and evocative. At times, in the past, I’ve often wondered if Kanye is the most reliable narrator of his own bipolar experience, especially when it feels like he stops taking his medication for weeks at a time. While it’s an eye-opening journey to hear from Kanye about his mental illness, I also feel like… there needs to be a better roadmap for journalists, bloggers and fans to talk about Kanye when it’s clear that he is having an “episode,” you know? I think some of the problematic sh-t he says is his illness speaking. But some of it is just his own ignorance and arrogance too.
As for what he says about Me Too – “When you go to court, both sides can talk. This is a court of public opinion where when someone bombs first, the war is supposedly over.” That’s the rallying cry of the #NotAllMen Matt Damons of the world, the ones who say “yeah, she says she was raped but that’s no reason to destroy a guy’s CAREER!”
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.