At this point, we’ve all heard the news that the “being formerly known as Kanye West” is no more, and “you may call him Ye.” Now, while we’re not sure if this is some publicity stunt to promote some new brand or other Ye venture, or if it’s a genuine form of artistic expression and realization of identity, what we can be sure of is the meaning of the name and why Ye chose it in the first place, because he’s told us in the past.
In 2018, while he was promoting the album by thee same name, Ye, he gave an interview with the radio host Big Boy, talking about the etymological reasoning for the preliminary name change as well as the naming for the album.
“I believe “ye” is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means ‘you,'” Ye said. “So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us. It went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”
After the news officially broke that Ye had changed his name legally, he took to Instagram to post a picture with a brand new haircut, captioned with the symbol for Yen (¥), the Japanese form of currency. This is probably just a reference to the “Y” in Ye, but who know with him at this point? Everything we’ve seen so far has been a calculated and strategized creative move that borders on the line of predictable.
Interestingly enough, Ye’s pages on Spotify, where most of his life’s work is stored, is still under the name of “Kanye West,” so we can’t help but wonder if that’s just a delay in updating, or if there’s something deeper than surface level here.