Kanye West has filed court documents to formally change his name to Ye.
In the filing with Los Angeles Superior Court, West aims to distil his full name – Kanye Omari West – to just Ye, with no other first name or surname, citing “personal reasons”. A judge will now need to approve the filing.
He previously announced the name change in 2018, writing on Twitter that he was “the being formally [sic] known as Kanye West. I am Ye”.
Explaining the change in a radio interview that year, he said: “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.” He said his name “went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything.” Ye was the title of the studio album he released that year.
West is expected to release his tenth studio album, Donda, this week following a playback of it at Soldier Field in his native Chicago on Thursday. The album has been anticipated for weeks, ever since he staged another playback event in an Atlanta sports arena on 22 July. He continued to work on the album in a makeshift studio and living space in the arena.
He drew further attention this week after the Canadian rapper Drake stoked a long-simmering animosity between the pair, rapping on Trippie Redd’s newly released song Betrayal: “Forty-five, forty-four, let it go / Ye ain’t changin’ shit for me, it’s set in stone”. West responded by briefly posting a screenshot of a group text chat that appeared to address Drake, reading: “I live for this … You will never recover. I promise you.”
In February, West and wife Kim Kardashian West announced they would divorce after nearly seven years of marriage.