Kanye West legally changes his name to ‘Ye’

The rapper and mogul has been hinting at his name change as far back as 2018.

Loading the player...

Kanye West has done a lot to make sure that the whole world knows his name. Well, now he has moved on to establish a new name for himself: simply, ‘Ye.’

The rapper/producer first filed paperwork in California to have his name legally changed from Kanye Omari West to Ye back in August, according to TMZ. On Monday, California Judge Michelle Williams granted his petition, making the name change legally official, as reported by CNN.

The name change has more meaning to it than just shortening his first name, which means “only one” in Swahili. While fans have been using the nickname Ye for years now, West himself spoke of the significance of the word ‘Ye’ in 2018 when he chose that to be the title of his eighth studio album.

During the promotion for the album, West was interviewed by radio personality Big Boy, where he talked about the meaning behind ‘Ye.’ “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible, it means ‘you,'” West said. “So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us.”

Ye was the second in a succession of five albums that West produced that were released a week apart in the early summer of 2018.

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Fixed Show
Vanguard Award winner Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards Aug, 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A few months after the album’s release, West unofficially declared his new name on a Twitter post, writing, “the being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE.”

Coinciding with his new legal moniker, West posted a new haircut to his Instagram account. The photo, which features the simple caption of ¥, is the back of West’s head with his hair shaved in a pattern that is similar to lightning bolts.

West may be shedding other aspects of his former self as well. Earlier this month, West put his Wyoming ranch on the market, according to Vanity Fair. The 4,500-acre ranch in Cody, Wyoming is now for sale at $11M, which he originally purchased for $7.7M in 2019. West owns another 6700-acre ranch, however, in Greybull, Wyoming.

Wyoming is the state where he recorded his Ye album. The ranch he’s selling is also where he wrote lyrics for his current album, Donda, according to The Sun. Named after his late mother the album reached number one on the Billboard 200 in September, his 10th album to do so.

WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards Sponsored By Harry Winston And Rémy Martin - Inside
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the WSJ Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards on Nov. 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards )

Many of the lyrics from Donda deal with West’s ongoing divorce from Kim Kardashian West. Kardashian will be keeping their $60M marital home in the Hidden Hills section in Los Angeles county, as reported by The New York Post. The two first purchased the 5,000 square foot property in 2014 and later renovated the entire home.

The couple was married for seven years and had four children before Kardashian filed for divorce this past February.

Have you subscribed to the Grio podcasts, Dear Culture or Acting Up? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...