Kanye West has legally changed his name to his long-standing nickname, Ye.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michelle Williams Court signed off on the rapper’s petition to change his name. The petition was filed on August 24th, with Kanye citing “personal reasons” for the change, offering no further explanation.
Ye released an eponymous record in 2018, though the 44-year-old musician has donned the nickname years prior to the album’s release.
Kanye/Ye first alluded to a name change back in 2018, tweeting: “The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” months before the release of his 2018 album.
He further elaborated on his affinity to the nickname in a 2018 interview with radio host Big Boy. “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible. In the Bible it means you. So, I’m you. And I’m us. It’s us,” he said. “It went from being Kanye, which means the only one to just Ye, just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused—everything. It’s more of a reflection of who we are [as] beings.”
Kanye is a master of reinvention, a manipulator of identity. With his latest album release and subsequent public appearances, he has sheathed his face in a series of masks. I don’t and never will have the ability to understand Kanye’s artistic process, but a name change feels fitting with his recent mode, his destruction of identity.
Watch: ’24’ by Kanye West
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