Kanye West unpacks his past in a ‘Thanksgiving Prayer’

West, 44, addressed his divorce, 2020 presidential run, battle with alcoholism and mental health, newfound faith and more in a five-minute voiceover video

Ye, the visionary artist, producer and designer formerly known as Kanye West, unpacked his past highlights, lowlights and everything in between on Thursday in an Instagram video titled “Thanksgiving Prayer.”

Over the course of five minutes, the 44-year-old introspected on his recent divorce proceedings with reality star Kim Kardashian, his 2020 presidential run, alcoholism and newfound faith, additionally laying bare his ongoing mental health struggles and more, narrated through a choir-backed voiceover.

“Hello, my name is Ye,” he said after joking that his former name sounded similar to “Conway Westside,” an amalgam of Griselda rappers Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn’s names. “And this is my super, super, super, super, super long Thanksgiving prayer.”

“On this Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful for family, my blood family, my fans and our haters. We love you too,” Ye continued. “We’re thankful for our current civilization of 8 billion people, our ancestors and our children.”

The 21-time Grammy winner said he penned the prayer while returning from an NFL football game he attended with his eldest son, Saint West, who Ye affectionately referred to as his “mini-me.”

I’m writing this prayer on my way back from taking my mini-me to his first football game,” Ye said, adding that Saint played a game of catch with seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady before the game. 

Expounding further upon his family life, Ye said he is constantly thinking of ways to mend his relationship with Kardashian, who filed for divorce from the rapper in February after six-plus years of marriage.

“All I think about every day is how I get my family back together and how I heal the pain that I’ve caused,” Ye said, adding that he holds himself accountable for his actions while he and Kardashian were together. “I take accountability for my actions. New word alert: Misactions.”

“The one thing that all my successes and failures have in common is me,” West added before listing multiple ups and downs from his life and career in detail, beginning with his battle with alcoholism, which he previously opened up about during a 2020 interview with GQ.

“I would drink to take the stress away and knock the edge off,” Ye said. “Drinking affected my health and the health of people around, around me because I already had a hair trigger temper and this just heightened it.”

The artist, who has bipolar disorder, then recounted a manic episode he experienced in 2016 which led to a series of perscribed medications which he said he has taken on and off since his diagnosis.

“I went into a manic episode in 2016 and I was placed under heavy medication,” Ye said. “Since then, I went on and off the medication, which left me susceptible to other episodes, which my wife and family and fans have had to endure.”

He continued that his ego “has a tendency to go past the threshold of being motivating and entertaining to just being overbearing,” adding that “there are ways to show confidence without arrogance.” 

“Now I know, none of y’all would ever picture this but sometimes I scream,” Ye quipped, shifting focus to his anger issues. “And that screaming might have helped me tell off everyone who doubted me in music but that screaming did not help me keep my family together.”

Kanye West attends the the Versace fall 2019 fashion show at the American Stock Exchange Building in lower Manhattan on December 02, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The Atlanta-born, Chicago-raised star then briefly pivoted to his newfound Christianity, a topic which he explores in depth throughout his last two full-length studio releases, Jesus Is King in 2019 and Donda in August.

“When I got saved it did not immediately make me a better person. It made me a self-righteous Christian,” Ye said. “Mix that with being rich, famous — and very, very, very, very, very attractive — and you got a Molotov cocktail ready to be thrown through the window of anyone who ever disagreed with me.”

“I was arrogant with my Jesus,” he added. “Like I just got me some Jesus at the Gucci store with a stimulus check.”

Turning attention to his political career, which included a failed presidential bid against then-President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, Ye revealed the impact of his conservative views and affiliations on his marriage.

“Good Lord, my wife did not like me wearing the red hat. Being a good wife, she just wanted to protect me and our family,” Ye said, adding that he put a target on his former wife and children “by not aligning with Hollywood’s political stance.”

Ye revealed that after an emotional and controversial presidential rally he held South Carolina in 2020, his father, Ray West, only had one piece of feedback: “Write your speech next time son.”

“Then, I ran for president without proper preparation and no allies on either side. I embarrassed my wife in the way that I presented information about our family during the one, and thank God, only press conference,” Ye added.

“F is for finances,” Ye continued, describing his past spending habits as the “craziest thing he’s ever done” out of “a lot of crazy things” he said he has done over the years.

“I spent money like crazy,” he said. “As the priest of my home, I must watch my own money and secure our finances. This is America. So people don’t consider stealing to be stealing, they just chalked it up to greed, consumerism and capitalism.”

“I’ve let people use me. I’ve had giant entourages. People around me just to make me feel good about myself,” Ye added.

He concluded by admitting that taking accountability for his actions has been an ongoing learning process.

“I’ve had to learn that I have to take accountability,” Ye said. “We always judge and tell other people what they should do, but we can only take accountability for ourselves and our children.”

“This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the family that my wife has given me. I’m thankful for the life that God has given me. And I’m thankful for your time, attention and patience. In Jesus name. Amen,” he added.

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