Here's what's really going on with Kanye

Kanye West suffered from exhaustion so severe that he was hospitalized on Nov. 21, 2016 for a "psychiatric emergency." The incident was harrowing not only for West, but also for his family, especially wife Kim Kardashian, who was robbed at gunpoint in Paris just a month prior to the incident.

West seemed to have made a positive recovery, spending almost all of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 under the radar. He worked on his music and welcomed his and Kardashian's third child, daughter Chicago.

However, in April 2018, it seemed like West's old demons may have come back to haunt him. He began tweeting at a manic pace about everything from politics to philosophy to music, declaring his Yeezy brand to be the next Apple and firing his entire management team. By the summer and fall of 2018, his erratic behavior seemed to be back in full swing. Here's a look back at what's really been going on with Kanye West.

What's in a name? A lot, maybe

Though he's been known colloquially as "Ye" since he became famous, Kanye West declared in September 2018 that he was making the moniker official. 

"The being formally known as Kanye West," he tweeted. "I am YE." (Ye is also the name of his latest album.)

It's unclear whether West meant "formerly" or if he did actually mean "formally," meaning he's Kanye West in the street and "Ye" when he's in a tuxedo. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: the sudden name change came amid plenty of other reasons to think something was once again amiss with the "Monster" rapper. For example, after a second round of bizarre behavior at SNL (more on that in a minute), West also took another stab a reframing the history of slavery in the United States, which he memorably flubbed the first time around when he told TMZ in May 2018, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice."

Of course, West later backtracked those remarks by saying that he was merely engaging in one of his "free thought" experiments at the time, but the backlash didn't stop him from entering the same controversial territory all over again several months later.

Kanye on slavery: Round 2

West's lack of his historical knowledge grew more apparent in late September 2018 when he suggested America nix the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.

"This represents good and America becoming whole again," he captioned a photo of himself on Twitter wearing a Make America Great Again hat. "We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love."

He attempted to clarify the next day, tweeting, "The 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise, meaning it never ended. We are the solution that heals. Not abolish but. Let's amend the 13th amendment. We apply everyone's opinions to our platform."

West further elaborated to TMZ, telling the tab that "we need to examine [the constitution]," because the framers were "all white men — no women, no Jews, no black men." He added, "The First Amendment is the right to free speech, but [with] social media ... people try to take your rights away, your right to free speech, your right to free thought, your free opinion, your free feeling."

When the TMZ cameraman pointed out that Abraham Lincoln (who West bizarrely stated "may have been black or white") added the 13th Amendment nearly a century after the Constitution was written, West replied, "Neither of us are scholars ... Let's open up the conversation and do more research."

Live from New York, it's a weird Kanye rant!

West was the musical guest for the fall 2018 premiere of Saturday Night Live, and his performances were bizarre and generally lackluster— for one track he and Lil' Pump were dressed as bottles of San Pellegrino and Fiji Water, with Variety reporting that several profanities made their way onto the live broadcast.

It was what happened after the show that was most unsettling to many. As the closing credits rolled, Ye went on a lengthy political rant captured by Chris Rock (via The New York Post).

"I wanna cry right now, black man in America, supposed to keep what you're feeling inside right now," he lamented, pacing the stage in a MAGA hat. "The blacks want always Democrats, you know it's like the plan they did, to take the fathers out the home and put them on welfare. Does anybody know about that? That's a Democratic plan ... There's so many times I talk to like a white person about this and they say, 'How could you like Trump? He's racist.' Well, if I was concerned about racism I would've moved out of America a long time ago."

He also claimed to have been "bullied" backstage for wearing his MAGA hat and called out the allegedly liberal media. Still, he claimed later that SNL producer Lorne Michaels "agreed that [he] would host before the year is out."

Other stars weren't feeling his slavery comments and Trump support

You know your history needs work when Captain America calls you out.

"There's nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn't know history, doesn't read books, and frames their myopia as virtue," Chris Evans tweeted in response to West's proposal to abolish the 13th Amendment. "The level of unapologetic conjecture I've encountered lately isn't just frustrating, it's retrogressive, unprecedented and absolutely terrifying."

Lana Del Rey also criticized West's MAGA obsession and voiced concern for his mental health, commenting on West's Instagram (via Mashable), "Trump becoming our president was a loss for the country but your support of him is a loss for the culture. I can only assume you relate to his personality on some level. Delusions of Grandeur, extreme issues with narcissism — none of which would be a talking point if we weren't speaking about the man leading our country. If you think it's alright to support someone who believes it's OK to grab a woman by the p***y just because he's famous — then you need an intervention as much as he does — something so many narcissists will never get because there just isn't enough help for the issue."

Is Kimye in trouble?

Sources told People that West's wife, Kim Kardashian, and their kids looked on pretty blankly during his SNL rant, and while her lack of a reaction may indicate that they're on the same page politically, it seems the couple have been having issues at home. On a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she lamented (via People) that she felt like she was "neglecting" Yeezy and that he felt jealous of the attention she lavished on their three kids. As a result, the couple began fighting constantly, even about issues as petty as Instagram photos and bandaid designs.

Sources also revealed to Radar Online that Kardashian and West were feuding over his porn habit and objectification of her sisters, while West himself went on an Instagram rant fuming about Drake allegedly rapping about her in his song "In My Feelings," in which he references a woman named "Kiki" (Kardashian's nickname from her family). West also lashed out at Kardashian's ex Nick Cannon for dishing on their past together.

He's a bridge-builder, and possibly an alien

On Oct. 1, 2018, West spent a great deal with TMZ cameras to try to explain what's currently going on in his life, including delaying his next record, Yandhi, until November 2018 so he can record in Africa and calling himself "alien Ye ... off of medication." He also said, "I can wear anything I want, because I'm a god."

He also further explained his slavery comments, saying he "misspoke" when he used the word "abolish" and that his issues with the 13th Amendment lie in the fact that he believes it allows incarcerated persons to become slaves.

"There's people getting paid eight cents a week working for companies that are privately owned and a lot of them are first time offenders, a lot of them are nonviolent crimes. And we're not dealing with the mental health and the therapy," he told TMZ.

West also explained that he believes most prisoners are incarcerated due to reacting poorly to poor circumstances.

In another segment, West told host Harvey Levin that he reached out to Colin Kaepernick about meeting Donald Trump at the White House to discuss kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games in protest of police brutality against African Americans. "I've been calling Colin this morning, reaching him, so I can bring Colin to the White House and we can remove that 'sons of b****es' statement and we can be on the same page."

Friends in low places

In late September 2018, West tweeted about his love for A$AP Bari and the late XXXTentacion, who'd respectively been accused of sexual assault and domestic violence. (Bari denied the allegations levied against him in a statement to Billboard.)

"There's no way I would have the number 1 record in the world without this man here. He broke me out of my pretentious rich n***a shell," West captioned a photo Facetiming with Bari. "Bari challenged me when no one else did and when he got in trouble I was scared to say he was my friend just like I did with [XXXTentacion]," West continued in another series of tweets. "I let the perception and the robots control me. That's the true sunken place ... Bari I appreciate your perspective and vision."

As it always is with infomercials and Ye, there was more: He visited The Fader offices, where he reportedly told the staff he wished Louis C.K., who admitted to his own sexual misconduct towards five accusers, was hosting the fall 2018 Saturday Night Live premiere during which West delivered a pro-Trump rant (more on that in a moment). He also played a collaboration he'd recorded with Tekashi 6ix9ine, who is a convicted sex offender.

Just how serious was that breakdown?

Clearly, 2018 has been a busy year for Kanye West. But how did this all start anyway? According to Page Six the jump-off for West's nearly two years of strange public behavior was that "nervous breakdown" that landed the "Gold Digger" rapper in the hospital. 

"He's surrounded by all these crazy people, but there's nobody he listens to or who can rein him in," a source told the tab. "He's spiraling further and further out of control. Basically everything crazy he does is 'art' — canceling his tour is 'art' — he is becoming more and more unpredictable...[West has a] chaotic life—he often stays up and works for 48 hours at a time when he's on, and calls his team at 3 a.m. Kanye needs a stronger support system, he needs to take some time to fall to the ground and start from scratch again. He's so talented, but he's his own worst enemy."

But a separate source claimed the situation wasn't worth worrying about. "He's just exhausted. He's been working around the clock on fashion design, both on his own line and the Adidas line," the insider claimed. "He's a notorious workaholic, so balancing both that work — which is extremely important to him — and the rigors of the tour every night. It really wore him out."

A source for People also downplayed the crisis, saying, "He went to the hospital at will under the advice of his physician. He's fine."

It was deadly serious, apparently

West revealed in an interview with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God that during his November 2016 meltdown, he genuinely believed he was going to get killed, especially when hospital staff left him alone without his friends.

"That was the scariest moment of my life," he said. "I thought I was going to get killed ... My wife wasn't in town, so I told [my friends], 'Don't leave my side until my wife gets here.' They have this moment where [your friends are] forced to leave your side, and that has to change ... I can't express to you how traumatizing that moment is, and then you wake up drugged the f**k out."

Still, West insists that his meltdown — which he attributed to stress, exhaustion, and "manipulation" (though he wouldn't specify what that manipulation was) — was for the best. "I think I'm in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or as I like to call it 'the breakthrough,'" he said. "I'm happy [the ordeal] happened. I'm happy to have gone to the other side and back."

So, he's getting help now, right? Well, sort of.

West confessed in his interview with Charlamagne Tha God that he hasn't seen an actual licensed therapist since his breakdown.

"I use the world as my therapist," he said. "Anyone I talk to is my therapist. I will pull them into the conversation of what I'm feeling at that point and get their perspective. ... I like just talking to acquaintances, friends, family, and I keep them on the phone for 45 minutes at a time, talking through things. It's kind of narcissistic."

He also said he was on medication, but that he was taking less than his prescribed dosage, noting that he believes medication is "an imperfect solution to just calm me down." Sources close to West told TMZ that his doctors prescribed three pills a day, but that he was taking only one or two per week, which may have led to his recent rash behavior. An insider told People, "He's refused to take his meds ... for the last couple of weeks."

His marriage did a 180

Sources say West has been in a bad place ever since wife Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint inside her hotel room in France in early October 2016. "[They] have been arguing a lot since the Paris robbery," a source told Page Six. "Kim has completely calmed down her life, but Kanye is stubbornly refusing to let fear get in the way of what he wants to do."

The issues may run deeper than that. "Kim has had a very rough time since the robbery," an insider told People. "...Their lives have been quite chaotic. It's been very trying for them both and not a good recipe for a happy marriage ... Kanye is used to leaning on her. Since Kim has had her own issues to deal with, the roles have been reversed. Kanye has had to stay strong to support Kim, and it's like he can't handle it anymore. It's like Kanye is falling apart now, because Kim hasn't been able to give him her full attention."

An insider told Us Weekly that West "was having nightmares" about his wife's robbery in the weeks leading up to his hospitalization. "The robbery triggered everything," the source said. "Kim is his family and the only family he really has now. They took him in and embraced him. So seeing Kim traumatized did a major number on him." 

The time Ye went cray on Jay and Bey

West may feel abandoned by those closest to him, specifically Beyoncé and Jay-Z. He called the power couple out numerous times during his Saint Pablo tour. On Nov. 19, 2016, West told a sold-out audience, "Beyoncé, I was hurt 'cause I heard that you said you wouldn't perform unless you won video of the year over me..." He also begged Jay-Z to contact him. "You still ain't called me. Jay-Z, call me ... I know you got killers. Please don't send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man."

West previously chastised Jay-Z for not visiting his family after Kardashian's robbery. "Don't call me after the robbery and say, 'How you feelin'?' You wanna know how I'm feelin'? Come by the house," West fumed in October 2016. "Bring the kids by the house like we brothers. Our kids ain't never even played together."

A source previously told Page Six their friendship has evolved into more of a business arrangement. "Jay can't stand him," the insider claimed. "He looks at him as this crazy, eccentric motherf***er he can tolerate in small doses. Kanye is a nut job. Everyone knows that." The source alleged that the pair collaborated on their Watch the Throne album only to increase their bottom lines. "Jay was like, 'I'm gonna knock this out. We're going to do a tour to bring in millions of dollars. I can tolerate that.'"

He may be under 'spiritual attack'

West doesn't just struggling with external pressures. Sources have said he battles inner demons as well. "He feels like he's under spiritual attack, and has been for a while," an insider told People. "It's not just the big things; it's smaller, quieter things, internal things. You might think that it's about Kim's robbery, and while that didn't help, that's not what's going on here. He's dealing with a lot more subtle issues."

The source continued, "He feels like it's a trying time for his spirit, but that can be a good thing. He isn't one to run away from these things. He leans in and listens, and comes away a stronger, better man. But it hurts him; his spirit is vexed ... he's not the 'Ye that everyone knows."

Sources told TMZ that when West was hospitalized, he was convinced people were out to get him, including the doctors treating him at the time. Insiders claimed his paranoia had been mounting for months.

Grief has no expiration date

In addition to the trauma his family suffered when Kim Kardashian was robbed, Kanye West still struggled to cope with the death of his beloved mom, Donda, in 2007. An insider told People in November 2016 that West "keeps that pain internalized, but sometimes will talk about how hard [the anniversary of her death] is for him. He works through the pain every November." Another source told Page Six, "His state of mind goes back a long way, perhaps to the death of his mother, which he never got over."

Sources told TMZ that the major trigger for West's aforementioned psychiatric episode was, in fact, the anniversary of Donda's death. Her funeral was held Nov. 20, 2007. He abruptly cancelled his concert at the L.A. Forum on Nov. 20, 2016. The next day, Nov. 21, 2016, West cancelled his entire tour and was taken to the hospital for a "psychotic episode." A source told Us Weekly, "He was having difficulty identifying what was real."

Is he crazy or crazy like a fox?

When West announced on Nov. 21, 2016, that he was bailing on the remainder of his tour, Billboard estimated approximately 300,000 tickets would be refunded, which would potentially result in a loss of approximately $27.3 million. That figure didn't even take into account the cash for venues, wages for venue employees and tour crew members, merchandise sales, and a slew of additional expenses.

However, TMZ reported that the insurance policy West had for the tour was designed to ensure he still got paid for the cancelled performances and to keep him off the hook for any money lost. Billboard reported that a standard policy for most tours covers "accident to or illness of any insured person which, in the opinion of an independent medical practitioner approved by the underwriters, entirely prevents any insured person from appearing or continuing to appear in any or all of the insured performances or events." 

However, insurer Lloyds of London initially refused to pay West for the canceled tour, claiming the rapper's alleged marijuana use was to blame. West sued for $10 million and won, reported TMZ.

Has Kim become the family watchdog?

Despite rumors that their relationship has been suffering for months, Kardashian was reportedly by her husband's side in the wake of his alleged meltdown. 

"Kim has been amazing," a source told Us Weekly in November 2016. "She knew he couldn't keep going the way he was. She has been by his side through all of this, helping to feed him and laying by his side ... Kim wouldn't leave his side except to see the kids." The source added, "Kim has been keeping a very close watch on him and not letting people disturb him. All kinds of people have called and sent flowers, but she's being very careful about not letting him get wound up and making sure he rests and recovers." 

A source told Us Weekly that Kardashian is also working hard to shield their children from any potential problems. The insider claimed Kardashian wasn't keeping West away from the kids, but that monitoring their interactions with their father was allegedly "a valid concern."

A source told People, "There are frustrations and problems, like any relationship, but they love each other deeply."

His loved ones were worried

West's behavior had reportedly gotten so erratic that even famous friends, such as John Legend, were worried. The day after West's hospitalization in November 2016, Legend told CBS This Morning (via the Daily Mail) that he had spent some time with West before the incident and was "concerned by what I saw, so hopefully he's getting some rest and some time to figure things out." Legend didn't specify what he saw that was so concerning, but he's not the only one of Ye's friends who has expressed concern.

Longtime pal Rhymefest was supposedly so worried about Yeezy that he quit working with him earlier in 2016. Rhymefest tweeted in February 2016 (via Page Six), "My brother needs help, in the form of counseling. Spiritual & mental. He should step away from the public & yesmen [sic] & heal. I love my brother. I pray for his health not our entertainment."

Around the time of Rhymefest's posts, West tweeted to the world that he was $53 million in debt. Mere days later, West reportedly had a meltdown backstage at Saturday Night Live just hours before he was set to perform.

He gave Izzy and Scooter the boot

In March 2018, news broke that West had parted ways with his longtime manager, Izzy Zivkovic. According to Billboard, West had worked with Zivkovic since 2010, but split Zivkovic's duties with Scooter Braun (famous for managing Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande) in April 2016. Braun reportedly handled music endeavors and Zivkovic handled non-musical ventures, including his clothing and shoe lines.

A month later, West dropped Braun. Radar Online reported that Braun and West got into a blowout argument ahead of Braun's seemingly abrupt exit, with insiders claiming that they had vastly different visions for West's future as an artist.

West spoke out about firing Braun and Zivkovic in April 2018, tweeting: "I no longer have a manager. I can't be managed," and this: "I'm nobody's 'client." He added, "Yes I got rid of my last lawyer ... because he wouldn't come to work full time. I also asked my last manager to come work full time for Yeezy of course the last lawyer and manager said no. So now I hired a CEO and a CFO and I have two full time lawyers as of now." 

West didn't reveal the names of his CEO, CFO, or attorneys, but he did mention that he would still like to work with Braun in some capacity, calling him a "genius." Sources told Variety that Braun and West parted on good terms.

'Yeezy is the new Apple'

West's shakeup of his management team left many who worked closely with him concerned for his well-being, especially because many of the people he fired were the ones who supposedly helped rehabilitate him after his November 2016 breakdown. Sources told The Blast that when West fired his team, he went on an epic yelling rant in the studio, proclaiming that "Yeezy is the new Apple" and making various other proclamations that didn't make sense, making them "all worried for his mental health."

Sources also told TMZ that after breaking away from Braun, West wasn't at his breakdown-levels of behavior but was "acting erratic" nonetheless.

Radar Online painted a less optimistic picture of West's situation, with an insider claiming that Braun was leaving to avoid being blamed for another potential breakdown for the rapper. "Scooter feels that Kanye is suffering another major meltdown and he does not want to be held responsible for his demise this time," the source claimed. "He literally wants nothing to do with it."

His politics aren't winning him any friends...

West raised red flags for those close to him when he began tweeting about President Donald Trump in April 2018. Along with selfies while wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat (which was signed by the POTUS himself), West tweeted, "You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."

West also claimed that former president Barack Obama did nothing for his hometown of Chicago, though he did note that he "loves" Hillary Clinton. 

West's politically active Democratic pal John Legend reportedly reached out to West privately to request that the rapper "reconsider aligning [himself] with Trump." How do we know this? Because West posted screenshots of their alleged text messages. The exchange was never aggressive, and they remain pals.

Chance The Rapper also tweeted about West's political publicity: "Black people don't have to be Democrats," he said. However, Chance later backpedaled a bit: "I didn't speak up because I agree with what Kanye had to say ... I did it because I wanted to help my friend..." 

... except for Donald Trump

Whether or not West was having a breakdown, trolling the world, or just really loves Donald Trump, the president certainly enjoyed Yeezy's fawning tweets and SNL performance. Trump reportedly told supporters at a rally in Washington, Mich. on April 28, 2018: "Kanye West gets it." Trump also tweeted, "Kanye West has performed a great service to the Black Community — Big things are happening and eyes are being opened for the first time in Decades — Legacy Stuff!"

West capitalized on the controversy himself as well, dropping the track "Ye Vs. The People," in which he debates with pal T.I. about his support of the controversial commander In chief, rapping, "Bruh, I never ever stopped fightin' for the people / Actually wearin' the hat'll show people that we equal ... I know Obama was Heaven-sent / But ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be President ... Make America Great Again had a negative reception / I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction."

In September 2018, following West's aforementioned SNL rant, Trump again tweeted his Ye-proval, writing that while he hadn't seen the show, which he described as "a political ad for the Dems," he was pleased to hear of Kanye defiantly sporting a MAGA hat. "He's leading the charge!" the president continued. 

He hinted at substance abuse issues...

People had good reason to believe there was something beyond West's mental health that led to his November 2016 meltdown: prescription drug abuse. Hot 97 DJ Ebro Darden said on his Ebro in the Morning show on April 23, 2018, that West told him, "Nobody really showed love for me when I was addicted to opioids and in the hospital."

West hadn't previously spoken about opioid use, and his team didn't comment on Darden's claims. However, the rapper had spoken about using other prescription drugs. On his 2016 song "F.M.L.," West spits, "You ain't never seen nothing crazier than this n***a when he off his Lexapro." Lexapro is a medication commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

However, internet sleuths discovered there was some truth to Darden's paraphrasing of his conversation with West. According to InTouch Weekly, in court documents from West's lawsuit against Lloyd's of London over his Saint Pablo Tour cancellation, West and his team admitted that he was prescribed Percocet, a prescription painkiller, as well as liquid marijuana. The documents reportedly stated that West also spent time in rehab. Kim Kardashian reportedly also confirmed West's Percocet use in her deposition in the case.

... then outright admitted to having substance abuse issues

The rumors of West's prescription drug addiction, according to West himself, were true. During a May 2018 appearance on TMZ Live, West revealed that his hospitalization wasn't just from psychiatric issues, but also because of an opioid addiction.

"I was drugged the f**k out. I was drugged out. I was on opioids. Two days after I got off opioids, I'm in the hospital," he said. "I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y'all." He added that he'd undergone a liposuction procedure to avoid being called fat like his brother-in-law, Rob Kardashian, whose weight gain led him to skip out on Kimye's wedding to avoid being photographed.

West also rapped about his opioid addiction on Travis Scott's song "Watch," spitting, "Wanna know how pain feels? I got off my main pills  ... Opioid addiction, pharmacy's the real trap / Sometimes I feel trapped, Jordan with no Phil Jack."

What is the vibe really like at Casa Kardashian-West?

West admitted that wife Kim Kardashian doesn't necessarily support his pro-Trump views. However, she has defended her husband's rants, writing, "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. He's actually out of the sunken place when he's being himself which is very expressive."

However, sources told People that behind closed doors, Kardashian and her family, especially mom Kris Jenner, are concerned about his alleged "erratic" behavior. Jenner reportedly fears that West's outbursts will damage the family brand, and insiders claim West has had "explosive issues" with Jenner. Sources also claim West was being so inattentive to Kardashian that she took to Twitter just as a means of trying to communicate with him. Conversely, West is allegedly so attention-starved that Kardashian may feel like she has four children now instead of three.

Sources told Radar Online that West's issues with Kardashian and her family stem from his aforementioned alleged substance abuse problems. "Kim and her family have good reason to believe that Kanye is using drugs again because of his erratic behavior, but even if they were able to prove it, there is still nothing they can do ... He isn't listening to anyone this time." Another insider told Radar Online that if West is, in fact, relapsing and using drugs, Kardashian may very well walk away from their marriage.

Look what Taylor Swift made him do

West admitted to Charlamagne Tha God that his nearly decade-long beef with Taylor Swift affected his work and his commercial success and, in turn, fueled his breakdown. 

If you'll recall, West infamously interrupted her acceptance speech for best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, leading to years of acrimony between the two, followed by an apparent reconciliation, followed in turn by Swift allegedly lying about giving her approval to use her name in West's "Famous" and then getting "exposed" by Kim Kardashian on Snapchat and then ... it just never ends.

"Ever since the Taylor Swift moment, it had never been the same — the connection with radio," he said, alluding to when Swift lashed out at him for calling her "that b***h" (and using a nude likeness of her) in his song "Famous" from The Life of Pablo.

However, West doesn't solely blame the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer, adding that L.A. Reid's exit from Universal Music may have also played a role in his lack of radio airplay. "Whatever the powers that be, it was much harder," he said.

He has a one-sided beef with Barack Obama

Another ripple effect from West's beef with Swift was his beef with former President Barack Obama, who called him a "jackass" after the 2009 VMA incident.

West said he was severely hurt by Obama's remark because prior to that, he and his mother, Donda, had actively campaigned for Obama and performed at his rallies ahead of the 2008 presidential election.

"You know, he never called me to apologize [for the comment]," West lamented to Charlamagne Tha God. "The same person that sat down with me and my mom, I think should've communicated to me directly and been like, 'Yo, Ye, you, you know what it is. I'm in the room and it was just a joke.' ... I just think that we were in a period where he had so much stuff to deal with, he couldn't deal with a wild card like me ... Someone that wasn't being controlled by strategy and thoughts, but someone who's acting on feelings."

Some speculate that West's grudge against Obama may play a role in his support for President Donald Trump, though the rapper hasn't indicated as much. West has, however, reiterated that he was never invited to the White House during Obama's two terms, fuming, "I'm your favorite artist. You play 'Touch the Sky' at your inauguration, and now, all a sudden, Kendrick [Lamar] and Jay and all the people you invite to the White House, like, now these your favorite rappers ... you know I'm your favorite but I'm not safe."

He may be a target of gang violence

Rapper Daz Dillinger released a video demanding that Crips attack West after he falsely believed that West dissed his pal (and rumored Crip associate) Snoop Dogg, reported The Blast. Dillinger allegedly ordered Yeezy to "stay in Calabasas." 

Dillinger claimed to have been questioned by police about his threat to West, hinting that Kris Jenner called authorities about the incident, but according to The Blast, police will likely will not pursue any further investigation into the case unless West personally requests it.

West told TMZ Live that he wasn't worried about Dillinger's comments, but The Blast reported that he has beefed up his security team in a big way since Dillinger posted his video — and fellow celebrities, including Eric Benet and gang-affiliated rapper The Game, told TMZ that the Crips' threats are likely very serious ... and that West may not even be safe if he stays in Calabasas, Calif.

Kris Jenner may be out for blood

Kim Kardashian isn't the only member of her family desperately trying to downplay West's seemingly manic behavior. When Kris Jenner made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May 2018, she claimed West "has a lot of love" and "always does things with really good intentions."

However, though she appeared good-humored on television, sources say Jenner is scrambling behind the scenes to mitigate the damage West is bringing to her family brand. Some claim the KarJenner crew is "freaking out."

An insider told People, "Kris is used to being able to control her girls and their brand, and this is something that she's not used to ... Kanye does not listen to her. Kanye does not have a good relationship with her." The insider claimed Jenner and West have had a difficult back-and-forth for years over managing the family brand. 

The source added that working with West is "almost like dealing with a little kid "You can't tell him no, you can't tell him not to tweet because that's just going to fuel him to tweet more," the source said. "Kris can't manage Kanye. She wants to and she's trying to, but she can't. No one can ... They're all having emergency 911 family meetings about it."