Listening to Kanye West‘s “I Thought About Killing You” is a jarring experience. The first song off ye finds the Chicago artist using a spoken word stream of consciousness to discuss killing a mysterious person — “Today, I seriously thought about killing you / I contemplated, premeditated murder.”
From the outset, it wasn’t clear who Kanye was aiming his anger toward on the song. Much of West’s eighth studio albums finds West apologizing to his wife, Kim Kardashian; so it didn’t seem like her. Could it potentially be Drake, who famously came after West on “Duppy Freestyle?” After a trip to hear ye in Wyoming, this writer thought it was apparent Kanye was talking about himself and his various tribulations with addiction, politics, and his inner conflicts. Luckily, that hunch was proven right by Kanye who described the recent process of killing off one of his signature traits.
“I killed my ego.” Kanye wrote. “Who or what is Kanye West with no ego? Just Ye. This is new for me but it’s just how I feel now. I don’t know why. I thought my ego protected me from doubters so that I wouldn’t doubt myself but there has to be a better way to do this.
Kanye’s tweets also give potential context to why his new album has the simple title, ye. If the Ye moniker is the father of three devoid of all ego, it makes sense why his new album is a far more muted and reflective affair than previous work.