Kanye West looks tough on the outside, but the Grammy winner reveals he was suicidal recently due to the avalanche of bad press he got after his 2009 MTV Video Music Awards outburst coupled with his mom’s tragic death in 2007.
West, 33, made the shocking admission Oct. 19, 2010 on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he discussed his mom Donda‘s sudden death and the fallout of his 2009 bum-rush of Taylor Swift of the VMAs (see video at left).
‘I LEFT AMERICA & STOPPED DOING MUSIC’
After Kanye was universally slammed in Sept. 2009 for interrupting a stunned Taylor as she was accepting the award for Best Female Video, he left the country on the advice of his friend, rapper Mos Def.
“I left America,” West recounted. “I stopped doing music altogether. I just took some time.
I went to Japan just so I could get away from paparazzi altogether. Then in November 2009 I moved to Rome and just lived there, and when I came back to the States I moved to Hawaii. I lived there for about six months and just worked on music.
Kanye says getting away helped him heal emotionally, not only from the bad press from the VMA outburst, but from his mom’s death.
Kanye was extremely close to his mom, Donda West, who died in Nov. 2007 at 58 from complications arising from plastic surgery.
“What was good about going away it was the first time that I got to stop since my mom had passed,” West said. “I had never stopped and never tried to even soak in what all had happened.
“It was the first time I had stopped since I had made it. Since I had started. It was time to take a break and develop more as a person, as a creator and focus more on my thoughts and my ideas and what I wanted to bring to the world.”
‘I’M A SOLDIER OF CULTURE’
“I feel like in some ways I’m a soldier of culture. I realize that no one wants that to be my job and I’ll never go on stage again. I’ll never sit in an award show again.
Will I feel convicted about things that really meant stuff to culture that constantly get denied for years and years? I’m sorry, I will. I cannot lie about it to sell records.”
Meanwhile, Kanye is embroiled in a new controversy surrounding the racy cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The surrealistic cover, painted by artist George Condo, shows a nude, demonically grimacing West sitting back on a couch and gripping a green bottle while a winged nude woman with a polka-dot tail straddles him.
The cover (see it in the slideshow at left) was banned in some parts of the United States due to the nudity, causing West to comment via Twitter Oct. 17:
“Banned in the USA!!! They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!”
Despite whatever drama comes up, West says he’ll never feel so bleak and hopeless ever again:
“I will not give up on life again. There’s so many people that will never get the chance to have their voice heard: I do [my work] for them.”
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy hits stores Nov. 22.