Kanye West slammed for 'misinformed, irresponsible' portrayal of bipolar disorder in new album | Inquirer Entertainment

Kanye West slammed for ‘misinformed, irresponsible’ portrayal of bipolar disorder in new album

/ 05:52 PM June 06, 2018

Rapper and singer clash, with West stating Legend is “trying to manipulate his free thought.” Image: AFP/Jewel Samad

Kanye West hasn’t been everybody’s cup of tea these past couple of weeks. His shocking statements about loving his “brother” President Donald Trump” last April had everybody’s eyebrows rising, while his remark about slavery being a choice last May may have been one of the reasons why some people no longer call themselves a fan.

West’s latest album “Ye” has just been released last week, June 1, and yet netizens are already divided over his methodology in the creation of it. “Yikes”, one of the songs in the album, makes reference to his bipolar disorder, where he calls it his “superpower” instead of a disability. The album cover itself shows a photo of mountains with green ink scribbled over it, saying, “I hate being bi-polar it’s awesome.”


The reactions of fans were mixed. Some found him inspiring for coming out with his bipolar disorder; others thought it was a cheap tactic that trivialized the complex mental disorder and reduced it to something stereotypical.

“I really love how Ye embraces his bipolar disorder and calls it a ‘superpower’ that is another level of self-love and confidence that we all as people need to reach,” wrote one fan Oba Mo (@sleazymo_) last June 1.

“Quite a way to end Mental Health Awareness Month to have Kanye West, one of the biggest people on the planet, reveal he’s dealing with bipolar disorder and to call it a superpower,” added one Cory Woodroof (@CoryWoodroo47), May 31.


But while the praises have been made known, the clamor of West’s critics were just as loud; they, too, took to social media to call out the rapper.

“If you’re someone who calls the weather bipolar & thinks @kanyewest is empowering for people suffering from mental illness, you’ve got it WAY wrong,” spoke out one Ellie (@ellglynn) on Twitter, June 2.

“Putting a misinformed meme on an album cover and making yet another controversial, no-context artistic decision is irresponsible,” added the netizen.

“I refuse to give Kanye West the stream or the download…” tweeted a certain Marcelle last June 1. “Kim says he has no mental illness, and Kanye puts ‘I’m bipolar’ on his album cover. There are way less toxic rappers who deserve it more. [I don’t care] fight me.”

Another netizen (@Jazhermans) added that West isn’t helping the image of bipolar disorder on his latest album: “The cover art is inaccurate as to what bipolar is, and is a long-time joke about people who have the disorder that makes light of it.”

“I’m all for being positive about it, and it is a part of me I have accepted,” added the netizen in a follow-up tweet. “But bipolar disorder is dangerous and should be taken seriously, especially if you are in the position to help and inspire others with it.”

While fans were not contesting West’s bipolar disorder, the snag seems to lie in his manner of addressing the mental illness itself, of apparently using a reductive memetic approach in his album cover instead of confronting it in a more representative medium and platform. JB


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TAGS: bipolar disorder, Donald Trump, Kanye West, Mental Health, racism, Slavery
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