Celebrities React To Kanye's Breakdown

Kanye West first appeared to have a breakdown — at least one that the public knows about — in November 2016. He was hospitalized for a "psychiatric emergency," which he's since attributed to a combination of exhaustion, stress (especially from wife Kim Kardashian being robbed at gunpoint in Paris just a month earlier), and substance abuse.

"Two days before I was in the hospital I was on opioids," West told TMZ Live in May 2018. "I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y'all." He previously told Power 105's The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God of his meltdown, "I think I'm in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or as I like to call it, 'the breakthrough.' I'm happy [the breakdown] happened. I'm happy to have gone to the other side and back."

However, the "and back" may be the problem. West's behavior has been increasingly erratic since April 2018, leading many to believe that he may be on the verge of yet another episode. West revealed to Charlamagne that he's been prescribed medication, but said, "[Medication is] an imperfect solution to just calm me down, but there are a lot of ways to calm down." Sources told TMZ that West has been reducing his dosage on his own, leading his doctors to be unable to tell what works and what doesn't for him.

His friends, family, and other celebrities are understandably concerned.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian has been outwardly supportive and defensive of West during what many believed to be a meltdown-in-the-making in spring 2018, despite Yeezy's multitude of controversial statements — especially those about President Donald Trump.

"To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair," she tweeted.

She added that "Kanye is years ahead of his time" and said that she and West don't agree on everything, especially not Trump's politics — and noted that West doesn't necessarily support Trump's policies himself. "He's a free thinker, is that not allowed in America? Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card? That's just not fair," she wrote. "He's actually out of the sunken place when he's being himself which is very expressive."

In private, however, Kardashian is reportedly nervous about West's behavior. A source told People, "When he gets manic, it's really hard for everyone around him. Kim is absolutely worried about him right now, but she will defend him publicly to the end ... Her tweets and everything she's been saying is definitely very calculated to help Kanye." A source told Radar Online that if West's behavior is the result of drug use, Kardashian may leave him.

Jan Adams

Jan Adams, the doctor who performed plastic surgery on West's beloved mother, Donda, before her death, has been the subject of some of West's tweets. In late April 2018, West tweeted a text message conversation with a friend in which he decided his new album would be titled Love Everyone — and then tweeted a mugshot of Adams, who'd been busted for a DUI, and said it would be his album cover.

Adams wasn't happy with that. In an open letter to West obtained by The Blast, Adams wrote, "I ask that you cease and desist using my photo or any image of me to promote your album or any of your work. I don't want to seem ungrateful, I just think that if in fact this conversion to love is genuine on your part ... then it's inappropriate to drag the negativity of the past with it."

Adams also pointed out that he was cleared of any wrongdoing in Donda's death, which was actually caused by heart disease, as well as "post-operative factors," including alleged improper care by West's cousin Stephen Scoggins. Adams claimed he "tolerated" the narrative that Donda died in surgery out of sympathy for West but that West needed to be "intellectually honest" if he truly wanted his message of love to succeed.

To his credit, West seemed receptive, tweeting to Adams, "This is amazing. Thank you so much for this connection brother. I can't wait to sit with you and start healing."

Van Lathan

West appeared on TMZ Live on May 1, 2018, where he stammered that slavery sounded like "a choice" and that he's practicing free thinking. That, understandably, made a lot of people angry, especially TMZ Live senior producer Van Lathan, who immediately confronted him about the remarks in real time.

"I actually don't think you're thinking anything. I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought," Lathan fumed. 

"While you are making music and being an artist ... the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives," he continued. "We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice."

Lathan added that he was "disappointed, appalled ... and unbelievably hurt" by West's comments and what he's chosen to represent at this time.

Jordan Peele

Comedian Jordan Peele, who wrote and directed the racially poignant hit horror-comedy Get Out (2017) may have found his newest muse in West. When Yeezus tweeted a photo of his mansion with the caption, "[Does] this look like the sunken place," Peele replied, "Gets inspired ... Starts writing Get Out 2."


T.I. collaborated on "Ye Vs. The People" as "The People," because, well, he doesn't see eye to eye with West on many things lately. He told Power 105's The Breakfast Club in May 2018 that the track was the result of a four-hour chat with West, who he said he didn't believe to be "inebriated" or "malicious" when he began his most recent pro-Trump Twitter rants. "It seems extremely sincere and passionate," T.I. said. T.I. explained that West didn't realize that his support of Trump could be considered hurtful by his community and said that they had a very long conversation.

"He don't know the things that we know because he's removed himself from society to the point where it don't reach him," T.I. explained. "It was a very enlightening discussion ... He's very committed to personal growth."

Marlon Wayans

After West's November 2016 breakdown, comedian Marlon Wayans didn't even try to make any jokes about it. Wayans tweeted at the time, "I hope u all pray for @kanyewest too. He's not just an artist but he's a father, a son a husband and above human. Get well soon."

He remained compassionate in spring 2018 after West expressed support for Trump as well, though he alluded to West's being in "the sunken place" from Get Out (2017).

After West dropped his single "Ye Vs. The People" with T.I., Wayans wrote on Instagram, "It's the convo every brother that love Ye but love their people wanna have with Ye. Love the brother but man, I just wanna stop the lady with the teacup from turning the little spoon so we can get him out the sunken place."

Wayans also told TMZ that he believes West is a creative genius who has a "weird reaction to weed," noting, "I love him, I respect his music — but I don't agree [with his stances] ... He got us talking!"

Snoop Dogg

In May 2018, Snoop Dogg may or may not have shaded West and Kardashian in an Instagram post, in which he wrote, "The evolution of Jay-Z and Kanye show you how influential your wife can be to your life." He captioned the text image with a shoutout to his wife, Shante Broadus, writing, "Thank you for keeping me straight."

That could mean that Beyoncé and Kardashian each helped their respective spouses grow up and that they helped their men stay "straight," because, remember: Jay-Z admitted to cheating on Queen Bey and their marriage was tested; West never seemed to get psychiatric help until he and Kardashian were married. However, People reported that many interpreted the missive as a comparison between Jay-Z's overall wellbeing, reputation, and business acumen compared to West's hospitalizations, public meltdowns, and social media shenanigans.


Will.i.am did not take kindly to West's remarks on TMZ Live about slavery being a choice.

"That's not Kanye," the Black Eyed Peas founder told Good Morning Britain. "To me, that's a different person that's saying that, and I hope it's not to raise awareness so you could sell a record and some shoes, because that would be the worst thing to do, to stir up this very touchy race situation and you be the benefactor from it. So I encourage you, if you really believe this, give your shoes away for free, give your album away for free. And I don't like talking about going against my community, but that is harmful."

Will.i.am added that West's slavery remarks broke his heart because his great-great-grandmother was a slave. "And when you're a slave, you're owned," he said. "You don't choose if you're owned ... That statement was one of the most ignorant statements that anybody who came from the hood could ever say about their ancestors, that slavery is a choice."

Will.i.am also tweeted extensively about West's comments, which he urged the world not to take lightly.

John Legend

John Legend, longtime friends of both West and Kardashian, had a difficult time accepting West's pro-Trump stances in spring 2018, though they eventually agreed to disagree.

Legend reached out to West, asking him to "reconsider aligning [himself] with Trump ... So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump's policies cause, especially to people of color. Don't let this be part of your legacy. You're the greatest artist of our generation." West posted screenshots of their text messages, followed by a selfie of them smiling together to show that they're still close friends despite their major differences of opinion.

It's not the first time Legend has reached out to West in what he perceived to be a difficult time. In November 2016, after West's initial breakdown, Legend told CBS This Morning that leading up to the incident, Legend was "concerned with what [he] saw."

​Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper initially defended West when he tweeted positively about Trump, writing, "Black people don't have to be Democrats."

However, once Trump thanked him for the perceived support, Chance clarified his own stance.

"I didn't speak up because I agree with what Kanye had to say ... I did it because I wanted to help my friend and cause I felt like I was being used to attack him," he wrote. "I'd never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination. I'd never support someone who'd talk about Chicago as if it's hell on earth and then take steps to make life harder here for the most disenfranchised among us."

He added that he believes the nation needs an honest discussion but that those in charge cannot be given a pass for hateful and discriminatory actions. He noted, "If that happens to include someone I love, someone who is my brother-in-Christ and someone who I believe does really want to do what is right, it's not my job to defend or protect him. It's my job [to] pick up the phone and talk to him about it."

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae was livid at West's comments about politics. She fumed to Hot 97's Ebro In The Morning show, "I don't agree with him at all. I believe in free thinking, but I don't believe in free thinking if it's rooted in or at the expense of the oppressed. If your free thinking is used as fuel by oppressors to continue to oppress black people, minorities — I think it's bulls**t and it's not OK."

Talib Kweli

Rap legend Talib Kweli didn't take West's politically charged rants lightly. He tweeted, "@kanyewest we love u. u r everything u say u are. A genius, an icon. U added greatness to my life. But lifting Trump up kills us. Come home." He added of West's slavery comments, "I will always have love for @kanyewest but bro out here putting targets on our backs. Slavery was not a choice."

Damon Wayans, Jr.

Damon Wayans, Jr. believes that West is simply so isolated from the rest of the world in his Kardashian-Jenner-rich bubble that he's completely out of touch with the world. "I think he's a human being ... I just feel like he's been rich too long," the New Girl actor told TMZ, explaining that West likely forgot what life was like before he was a celebrity. "I think we give him a pass, but I think we make him have to read books on history so he'll stop saying things like that. He sounds like a rich white dude."

French Montana

Rapper French Montana, an ex of West's sister-in-law Khloe Kardashian (and a West collaborator), isn't thrilled with Yeezy's support of Trump.

"I'm not feelin' what he doin' with the holdin' Trump down," Montana told TMZ, adding that he's not happy with Donald Trump's policies in general. He explained, though, that he still adores West as a person.

"I love Kanye, man," he said. "I guess he got an album coming out. That's my big brother, you know? That's family. I could never go against him but I just don't respect somebody like [Trump] who deports so many people and hurt so many families."

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz told TMZ that Kanye West is actually lucky to be alive since many sufferers don't survive opioid addiction. He added that he believes that West's issues likely stem from not properly mourning his mother's death, and that the combination of plastic surgery (his liposuction), mental illness, and opioid use could have been potentially deadly. He also added that West's confessed habit of self-dosing is extremely dangerous, explaining, "You can function really well [on medications] ... the right dose is perfect for you, but too much or too little can be deadly, for you or the people around you."

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil McGraw offered his own analysis of Kanye West's recent behavior, claiming that the rapper lacks a filter and expresses "deregulated thought." McGraw explained to TMZ, "I've seen where he has said on multiple occasions that he doesn't read, that he just thinks. Well, read Kanye! You need to read because what you're saying is ignorant!"

McGraw added that West may just be seeking attention to sell albums and sneakers, noting that his slavery comments were incredibly stupid — and that he has no doubt that West's racial commentary and political stances have "empowered" hate and white supremacist groups. He did note, however, that he can't diagnose West with any conditions without spending an extended amount of time with him.


Rapper Eve said on The Talk that she is "done" with Yeezus, arguing that West is so far removed from his upbringing in Chicago and so deep in his own wealthy bubble that he has become outright "disrespectful" to minority communities, especially in the light of his slavery comments. She also insinuated that West's late mother, Donda, wouldn't approve of his current speech and stances.

"It is so disrespectful," she fumed. "I can't understand how a black man that was born on the south side of Chicago can have these ideas ... His mother, may she rest in peace, was an African-American Studies professor. I cannot understand this."

She added, "You want to be a free thinker, you want to be thought-provoking, you cannot have these ideas without facts to back them up. Slavery is a fact. Slavery is part of our history ... We are still feeling the effects of slavery within our community, within our culture. It hurts me."

LeVar Burton

Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton told the KTLA Morning News that West is abusing his platform by spouting racist ideas, especially that slavery is a choice — but he thinks it's not entirely West's fault because he thinks West is mentally ill.

"When Kanye West says slavery was a choice, I got an issue with that. It's irresponsible. It is uneducated. It's just stupid. And Kanye has gone on record and said he doesn't read books," Burton seethed, adding that too many people look up to West for him to make such comments publicly without repercussions and potentially "irreparable damage" to his career.

"Somebody's got to wrap their arms around this young man and just sit on him until he levels out. Because this hypomanic thing ... He doesn't see that there is anything going on. He just feels normal or a super version of himself. It's a brain chemistry thing," Burton said. "I genuinely believe that this young man has brain chemistry issues and that he is in a hypomanic phase."

Burton clarified that he isn't a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but that he knows this sort of behavior "fairly intimately well."