Rappers are known for having a variety of nicknames, each a.k.a representing a different aspect of a hip hop artist. Everybody knows Jay-Z can flow, but real fans know that when he prefaces a track by referring to himself as Hov or Jigga his bars are always immaculate.
The same goes for Nas a.k.a Nasty Nas, and Kanye West when he hops on a track in his Yeezy bag. After years of being Kanye West, going by other aliases like Ye and Yeezuz, the 44-year-old hip hop icon is now simply going by Ye.
On Monday (October 18) a Los Angeles court approved Kanye West’s petition to cut his name to Ye, minusing his middle and last name from his legal identity, according to Yahoo News.
The officialized name change comes two months after the Donda rapper filed paperwork for his renaming, and three years after the “artist formerly known as Kanye West” tweeted that he only wanted to be addressed as Ye.
“The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” Ye tweeted back in 2018. His 2018 album Ye complimented the rapper’s rebrand, and prepared fans for the new version of the now ex-West that was approaching. According to court documents Ye only cited “personal reasons” as an explanation for the name change petition, however he has expounded more on his reasoning in past interviews, according to Yahoo News.
“I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible, it means ‘you.’ So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us,”Ye told radio host Big Boy back in 2018, elaborating on the name’s biblical significance. The lawful conversion of Kanye to Ye goes beyond just a retitle, marking a rebirth for the passionate rap star.
During his new era, Ye has centered much of his music around his spirituality, creating contemporary gospel albums like Jesus is King, Emmanuel and Donda. Ye legalizing his reformatted moniker is a chance for him to shed the controversial and erratic imaging that is associated with Kanye West—like his run for president in 2020.
As Kanye West he interrupted Taylor Swift during her 2009 VMA acceptance speech, declared slavery as a “choice,” was divorced by Kim Kardashian and wholeheartedly supported the infamous Donald Trump during his conservative presidency. Now that he’s only Ye, he has a chance to move forward from his mishaps, and forge a new legacy— which consists of his billion-dollar brand Yeezy.
Already the artist formerly known as Kanye West has been laying the foundation for his new life as Ye, putting his 4,000-acre Wyoming ranch on the market for $11 million dollars, according to People.
In addition to selling one of the catalysts for the disintegration of his marriage, Kim Kardashian’s assessment, Ye is designing his own line of eerie COVID-19 face masks. Possibly Halloween inspired.
Much is on the horizon for Ye, and his new name is just the beginning.