Kanye West's Most Disturbing Behavior

The following article includes references to addiction, mental health issues, and suicidal thoughts.

Kanye West is one of the most successful musicians on the planet. With a jaw-dropping 24 Grammy Awards, the rapper and producer is considered by many as one of the most influential artists of his generation. But West, now known as Ye, is also famous for his seemingly bizarre and sometimes disturbing behavior, often played out in front of his millions of followers on social media. 

His private life can instantly become public fodder for the 24-hour news cycle, and it frequently does. The multitalented fashion mogul and entrepreneur, who has long been open about dealing with mental health issues, has used his platform to go on tirades about everything from his high-profile marriage to Kim Kardashian to his ever-so-brief foray into politics. The self-made multi-billionaire also has a knack for making scene after scene, most often in the public spotlight. With Kanye West, you never know what outrageous thing he's going to do or say next. It seems like sometimes he doesn't either. Yet, there is no denying the massive success of the self-proclaimed "creative genius" in spite of all of this. 

Nevertheless, what you are about to see might have you scratching your head and asking one lingering question: What in the world is going on with Kanye West?

He said George W. Bush 'doesn't care about Black people'

In 2005, Kanye West joined an all-star cast for NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, particularly those hit hardest in New Orleans. After joining "Austin Powers" star Mike Myers to deliver scripted remarks, the rapper began to ad-lib in a lengthy rant, starting with, "If you see a Black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food.'" He then ended it with the clincher, "George Bush doesn't care about Black people."

Reacting to those comments about him, the former president said on "Matt Lauer Reports" (via NBC News) in 2010, "It was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency." Bush continued, "It's one thing to say, 'I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business.' It's another thing to say, 'This man's a racist.' I resent it, it's not true."

Although West stood by his statements at the time, per People, when he met with then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in 2018, he had a change of heart, saying he had chosen the wrong words and "didn't have the grounds to call [Bush] a racist." West added, "I was very emotional and I was programmed to think from a victimized mentality. Of a welfare mentality."

Kanye West ruined Taylor Swift's MTV VMA win

Taylor Swift was only 19 when she picked up the trophy for best female video for "You Belong with Me" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. As she started her acceptance speech, Kanye West stole her thunder, grabbing the mic and proclaiming, "Taylor Swift, I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!"

Per Entertainment Weekly, the "Gold Digger" rapper took to Twitter to make amends with the country pop star, with one post reading, "I would never ever again in a million years do that. Sorry to let you down." The "Shake It Off" singer publicly pardoned him for his indiscretion in her 2010 song "Innocent." The lyric, "32 and still growing up now / Who you are is not what you did / You're still an innocent," she told New York magazine, wasn't about West, but rather written "to him."

However, their on-and-off feud continued for years and included controversy over a lyric in West's 2016 song "Famous": "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b***h famous." Swift said she never approved the "b" word, Kim Kardashian got involved, secretly taped phone call footage leaked (twice!) ... it was a whole thing. But perhaps the "Lover" singer got the biggest laugh at West's expense when she hosted "Saturday Night Live" back in 2009, singing in her opening monologue, "You might be expecting me to say something bad about Kanye. ... Everything's okay. I've got security lining the stage!"

A photographer claimed Kanye West assaulted him

While encountering a crowd of paparazzi outside of LAX in 2013, a caught-on-tape situation quickly escalated between Kanye West and a photographer named Daniel Ramos. "Kanye! Kanye! Talk to me, Kanye!" Ramos shouted, per CNN, as the "The College Dropout" rapper walked past him. He then pressed West with, "What's' going on? Why can't we talk to you? I mean, why?" That's when things started to heat up. "Now come on, Kanye, I don't want to fight with you," Ramos said. West, who later tried to grab the camera and threw a punch at Ramos (via BBC News), fired back, "I told you, don't talk to me, right. You're trying to get me in trouble so I step off and have to pay you like $250,000."

Sentenced to two years' probation, community service, and an anger management course after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor battery count, West apologized and settled a civil suit with Ramos for an undisclosed amount in 2015. The pap's attorney, Gloria Allred, said the case "sent an important message" everyone needed to hear, namely that "celebrities are not above the law, and they have no right to physically attack someone simply because they were asked a question." 

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first or last time the "Ye" rapper was involved in a violent altercation. In January 2022, for example, West found himself under LAPD investigation for alleged battery after being caught on tape punching a man asking for his autograph twice, breaking his nose, in Los Angeles, per TMZ. As of this writing, this story remains ongoing.

The rapper was admitted to a psychiatric ward

In November 2016, Kanye West suddenly canceled his "Saint Pablo Tour" after yet another onstage rant, this time surprisingly calling out pals Beyoncé and Jay-Z, per E! News. "Beyoncé, I was hurt 'cause I heard that you said you wouldn't perform unless you won Video of the Year over me and over 'Hotline Bling,'" he said, before things took a much darker turn, as West begged in part, "Jay-Z, call me, Jay-Z; I know you got killers. Please don't send them at my head."

Soon after that, TMZ reported that West's personal physician, Dr. Michael Farzam, had called 911 to dispatch help for a man he believed might be prone to violence, after the rapper reportedly tried to assault a gym employee. In a police report obtained by the gossip rag, Farzam explained his patient "suffer[ed] from temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration." Per People, the "Fade" musician was later admitted to UCLA Medical Center and placed on an involuntary 5150 psychiatric hold. According to a source cited by the outlet, West's then-wife, Kim Kardashian, was quickly by his side at the hospital.

"[He has] big ups and big downs, but this bout seems to be much more serious. In the hospital he has been very paranoid and is under constant watch for his safety," the insider claimed. "He's still there because clearly he's not doing well. ... Kanye thinks everyone is out to get him. The only person Kanye trusts is Kim." West was discharged over a week later.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website. 

That time he said slavery was 'a choice'

In 2018, Kanye West visited TMZ's headquarters to appear on "TMZ Live" alongside conservative political pundit Candace Owens. Having previously stirred controversy for wearing a Donald Trump MAGA hat, he took his interview with Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere off the deep end with this controversial statement, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice." West also demanded that everyone in the newsroom listen as he explained how he'd struggled with opioid addiction after undergoing liposuction, which he said contributed to his mental health issues in late 2016. 

However, TMZ employee Van Lathan challenged his more political and ahistorical comments, arguing that West was hurting the Black community. "While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you've earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives," Lathan said. "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." 

As the Twitterverse erupted over the fiery exchange, West tried to tweet his way out of the mess. "To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet (via Page Six), and complained in another, "Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas." In the end, he tearfully told WGCI Chicago (via CNN), "I'm sorry for people who felt let down by that moment."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Kanye West made a failed run for president

Fittingly, this all started out on Twitter. According to the New York Post, Kanye West threw his hat in the ring on July 4, 2020, writing, "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States." In an interview with Forbes, West said he was running under his own Birthday Party banner "because when we win, it's everybody's birthday."

If he had been elected, the rapper said he planned to rule the U.S. like Wakanda, the fictitious country in the movie "Black Panther." He also said he considered himself to be among the world's "most powerful humans." Noting that the idea to venture into politics came to him in the shower, West recalled, "It hit me to say, 'You're going to run for president,' and I started laughing hysterically. And I just laughed in the shower, I don't know for how long, but that's the moment it hit me."

Though he acknowledged he had never voted before, West, a former supporter of Donald Trump, had been signaling his desire to go to Washington for years. In 2015, per ET, when he picked up the MTV VMAs Video Vanguard Award, in a long and bizarre speech where he admitted having "rolled up a little something" before the show, he announced, "I have decided in 2020 to run for president." Per Forbes, the West campaign ended about 10 days after it started, with little fanfare.

The presidential candidate went on an anti-abortion rant

Kanye West's presidential campaign may have been short-lived, but the Yeezy fashion designer didn't just fade away without controversy, according to USA Today. His first political rally was held in South Carolina, and the subject turned to abortion. Of course, there was a rant — this one teary-eyed — as he told the crowd that he and Kim Kardashian had discussed having an abortion while expecting their first child. Although he has acknowledged being pro-life, he told the crowd he would support keeping abortion legal by offering people a surprising incentive not to have one. 

"If you had the opportunity to be given a million dollars, just for being pregnant, would you have considered it? And then everybody would start having children, the greatest gift of life," West said. He then came back with another heartfelt revelation to bring home his point: "My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy." The rapper reinforced the fact that, for the father of four, all of this is very personal, saying, "I almost killed my daughter."

Per NBC News, Kardashian opened up on her Instagram Story about her husband's bipolar disorder amid the ongoing controversy surrounding his shocking reveal, calling him a "brilliant but complicated person." She added, "People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

He accused Kim Kardashian of kidnapping their daughter

In the midst of a contentious divorce in February 2022, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West continued their public feud focusing on the children. It started with daughter North's TikTok account. Per Page Six, in a since-deleted Instagram post, West wrote, "SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST DIVORCE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER BEING PUT ON TIK TOK AGAINST MY WILL?" Kardashian shot back in a statement obtained by the same outlet, "Kanye's constant need for attacking me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create."

"As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children," she continued, "I am doing my best to protect our daughter." The hits kept on coming: West claimed he didn't know the location for daughter Chicago's 4th birthday party, and he was ticked. In another since-deleted post, he questioned Kardashian's main provider claim and then alleged that she'd kidnapped their daughter amid the birthday party fiasco (via Page Six). The back-and-forth didn't end there. In yet another now-deleted post, West wrote, "You put security on me inside of the house to play with my son then accused me of stealing I had to take a drug test after Chicago's party cause you accused me of being on drugs." 

An inside source, who explained the couple had previously agreed to hold two separate parties for Chicago, said, "Nobody was keeping him away from the party."

Kanye West: 'Kim accused me of putting a hit out on her'

If these (since-deleted) Instagram posts don't grab your attention, then nothing will. Per Us Weekly, as the divorce tension continued to mount in February 2022, Kanye West took to his favorite bully pulpit with this startling allegation: "YESTERDAY KIM ACCUSED ME OF PUTTING A HIT OUT ON HER," he wrote. Per Page Six, the rapper continued, "THESE IDEAS CAN ACTUALLY GET SOMEONE LOCKED UP." Ye concluded with, "IM NOT PLAYING ABOUT MY BLACK CHILDREN ANYMORE."

In a statement Kim Kardashian posted to her Instagram Story, per Vanity Fair, the Skims founder wrote, "Kanye's obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all." A source familiar with the family claimed to Page Six that West wasn't the role model father he claimed, saying, "Kanye needs to stop asking the internet how to parent and actually start being one. He hardly sees his children and is incredibly inconsistent."

Per People, Kardashian had filed for divorce in February 2021. West made a number of attempts to win her back, including a performance of "Runaway" in Los Angeles that December, where he asked for Kardashian by name, per Us Weekly, singing, "I need you to run right back to me. More specifically, Kimberly." No surprise, perhaps, that "Kimberly" ran right in the other direction. On March 2, 2022, a judge declared Kardashian legally single.

Pete Davidson told Kanye West to 'grow the f*** up'

The ongoing friction between Kanye West and Pete Davidson — aka ex-wife Kim Kardashian's new beau since October 2021 — really fired up on Super Bowl Sunday in February 2022 over Instagram, per the Mirror. In a series of since-deleted posts, the hip-hop icon called the comedian a "d***head," then captioned a photo of him with a characteristic all-caps rant, warning folks to keep their families close because, "THERES A SKETE [Davidson's nickname] LURKING IN EVERY DIRTY A** ALLEY WAITING TO HELP DESTROY YOUR FAMILY AND WALK AROUND IN CALVIN KLEINS AROUND YOUR CHILDREN." 

With that, the "Saturday Night Live" star may have reached his breaking point. According to People, the communication reportedly came from a shared text exchange between the two men. "The King of Staten Island" actor appeared to state point blank, "I've decided I'm not going to let you treat us this way anymore and I'm done being quiet. Grow the f*** up." The funnyman went on to say he'd gone out of his way to take everything in stride, adding, "But if you continue to press me like you have for the past 6 months, I'm gonna stop being nice."

When Davidson offered to meet up with West face-to-face, the rapper asked for his location. "In bed with your wife," he said. "Happy to see you're out [of] the hospital and rehab," West allegedly replied. Alas, Davidson came back with the last word: "Same here. It's wonders what those places will do when you get help. You should try it."

Kanye West made a disturbing video about Pete Davidson

In March 2022, Kanye West released a video on Instagram that probably won't be winning any awards. Per People, for his song "Eazy," West came out with a clay animation version of a tied-up Pete Davidson, who appears to be kidnapped by Ye and then gets buried alive. In the music video, which has since been deleted, the stand-up comic's character is surrounded by roses, while West is perched atop a garden.

The lyrics, "God saved me from that crash, just so I could beat Pete Davidson's a**," are heard. Toward the end, West refers to "Skete," as he places the final nails in "Skete's" coffin. The words, "EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER / EXCEPT SKETE YOU KNOW WHO / JK HE'S FINE," then appear. As for Kim Kardashian's reaction to the video? An inside source claimed that the KKW Beauty mogul was "furious." The insider added, "She's really upset with Kanye that he'd do this. She's completely over all of this and she wants it to stop." 

As you can imagine, some fans began calling the rapper out, as well. Per Showbiz CheatSheet, one user commented on YouTube, "This is disturbing. I hope it just stays online and nothing tragic happens to anyone involved." Another person tweeted, "I'm honestly scared for Kim and her kids, he shouldn't be left alone with them anymore."

He was banned from performing at the Grammys

Kanye West was nominated for five Grammys in 2022, including album of the year for "Donda," but one of the academy's biggest winners was not allowed to perform at that year's ceremony. According to The Blast, West's team was notified he was yanked from the lineup due to his "concerning online behavior," in light of the abovementioned Pete Davidson video and a dustup with Grammys host Trevor Noah over comments he made about West's divorce.

Per Variety, West used a racial slur against "The Daily Show" host in an Instagram post, which got him booted from the platform for 24 hours. "I'll be honest with you," Noah had previously said on the Comedy Central show, "what I see from the situation is a woman who wants to live her life without being harassed by an ex-boyfriend or an ex-husband or an ex-anything." When Noah received the news, he thought it might be a knee-jerk reaction. He tweeted, "I said counsel Kanye not cancel Kanye."

As a nominee, West could have attended the Grammys, per Page Six, but he chose to sit this one out to focus on his well-being. According to a Kardashian source, "For the sake of the kids, Kanye has told Kim he's not making any public appearances or inflammatory social media statements, and he will go away somewhere to get better." No word yet on where the rapper (who picked up two more trophies, per The Hollywood Reporter) might have been heading for help. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

He warned D.L. Hughley: 'I can afford to hurt u'

As Kanye West's divorce drama played out over Instagram, funnyman D.L. Hughley threw shade at the rapper about how he treated Kim Kardashian, per Page Six. In an interview with DJ Vlad, the comedian said, "He is stalking her. If it was my daughter, I'd do something about it." The jabs seemed to go back and forth between the two for a while. Per High Snobiety, West downright threatened the comedian in a since-deleted Instagram post.

"DL Hughley is a pawn. ... Yeah I know a king not supposed to address a pawn. ... DL. Don't speak on me or my children, I can afford to hurt u," he wrote. Then, Hughley captioned one of his tweets on Instagram, in which he suggested the rapper should be seeking medication for his bipolar disorder: "Hmmm! Ain't it weird that #Kanye supposedly has all these goons who will kill for him, but not one of them will get his prescriptions filled?" West slammed the comic back with another since-deleted post, writing (via High Snobiety), "You have no favor. Your family hates you. I would hate to be related to somebody who used to be famous. Now, you are just known as a broke pawn; at least Oprah got billions 'allegedly.' Come on, leftist. Y'all gotta do better than D.L." 

Hughley summed up his take on West's behavior with one last thought to DJ Vlad: "I think that you can't write a beat so good that you get to do these things."

Kanye West opened up about his mental health

In the 2022 Netflix documentary "Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy," Kanye West gets very candid about his struggles, per the New York Post. In 2018, when he was recording "Kids See Ghosts" with Kid Cudi, the rapper admitted he had moments "where I felt, like, suicidal, still have moments where I'm addicted to Percocet without even realizing it." The rapper disclosed in an interview with BigBoyTV that at 39 he was "diagnosed with a mental condition," which he referred to as "not a disability, it's a superpower." 

Per E! News, he revealed more on his 2018 track "Yikes," with the lyrics: "That's my bipolar s**t, n***a what / That's my superpower, n***a ain't no disability / I'm a superhero! I'm a superhero!" In 2019, West went mainstream about his mental health with David Letterman on "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction." "I feel a heightened connection with the universe when I'm ramping up," he explained, adding, "This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. ... With us, once our brain gets to the point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse." 

After seeing a number of West's public tirades in more recent years, the documentary's co-director Clarence "Coodie" Simmons said in the doc, "It was difficult watching Kanye on TV, knowing he had issues with his mental health. They were calling him crazy, but to me it seemed like he was crying out for help."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.