Chicago spoken-word vet and longtime Kanye West affiliate Malik Yusef recently went public with claims that the Hip Hop great may be bipolar and/or schizophrenic, which is prompting him to release a statement today.
Somewhere along the pipeline (read: social media copy-and-paste-take-as-verbatim rumor mill), accusations of him being the ink for West’s pen in the making of The Life of Pablo have went viral and he’s out to set the record straight.
“I understand that some media (not all) will embellish a story in order to create sensationalism and I’m not against that,” Yusef writes in a statement obtained by HipHopDX. “However, I am against lies, especially when they are used to intentionally hurt, demoralize, discredit character, and intentionally mislead the general public for the purpose of selling a story. I was quoted as saying that I wrote the entire Life of Pablo LP and that’s completely false. When asked about my contribution to the project, I simply stated that I contributed to every song, not that I wrote every song.”
The quote in question was taken from an interview on Drea O’s YouTube channel which was aggregated further by HotNewHipHop where it was stated Yusef “wrote and produced every song” on The Life of Pablo.” The video has since been blocked on YouTube on copyright grounds from UMG.
As for the other quotes of “Kanye not taking his medication,” Yusef, who put out a pair of albums on GOOD Music in 2009, softened his stance a bit, neither confirming or denying that West actually has a mental disorder but narrowing in on the facts of the matter.
“For the record, Kanye West has never been medically diagnosed as being bipolar or schizophrenic. I wouldn’t change who Kanye is as a person and because people are always making disparaging comments about his behavior, I was simply stating that regardless of what anyone says (including medical professionals), is that Kanye is fine just the way he is and doesn’t need medication. He also doesn’t need to change a single thing about himself. Staying true to his character is what gives him the priceless ability to create art.”
He continued: “I choose to embrace Kanye for who he is, not for a watered down version of him that people would be most comfortable around. The G.O.O.D. Music and West family is strong and tight. We build, uplift, and protect one another. At no point will we ever tear down, destroy, or attack one another.”
Regardless of the mixed messages, Yusef’s sentiments align with statements made by another Chicago artist who used to run with Kanye back in the day.
During a February 2016 Twitter blitz, Rhymefest told his followers that West needed help “in the form of counseling,” before making it specific by adding “spiritual & mental.”