Why Kanye West now wants to be known only as 'Ye'

The rapper has filed court documents to officially get rid of his full name, Kanye Omari West

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Kanye just wants to be Ye.

The rapper and businessman, 44, who's referred to himself as Ye for many years, even using it as the title of his 2018 album, has filed court documents to legally change his name.

The filing at Los Angeles Superior Court shows West wants to get rid of his full name – Kanye Omari West – in favour of just his longtime two-letter nickname with no middle name or last name. He cites "personal reasons" for the change.

The documents were dated August 11 but had not been sent into the court system until Tuesday. For the moniker to become official, a judge must approve the change.

West already tweeted in 2018 that he wanted the change: “The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” he posted.

He has also said in interviews that, along with being a shortening of his first name, he likes it because of its biblical reference.

"I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible, it means 'you,'" West told radio host Big Boy, while explaining the title of his eighth album Ye in 2018. "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 confusion, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are."

West is in the middle of a divorce with Kim Kardashian West, who did not ask that her last name be changed back to just Kardashian when she filed to split from him in February. The couple’s four children also have his last name.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West married in 2014 and divorced in February 2021. Reuters

The bestselling musician and designer has been holding a series of stadium listening parties for his forthcoming 10th studio album, which is scheduled to be released before the end of August.

Donda is already one of the most discussed albums of the year even before its release, thanks to the listening parties, intriguing social media posts and fans kept on their toes via bits of selectively revealed information.

Originally set to be released in July 2020 before being pushed back a year, it is named after his late mother Donda West, who died at 58 following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

West has announced various release dates over the past month, only to skip past them without explanation.

West’s manager, Abou “Bu” Thiam, recently commented on a fan's Instagram account that the album will drop on streaming services at the conclusion of the third The Donda Album Experience preview event at Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium on Thursday.

At the weekend, West wiped his Instagram account and began reposting cryptic new photos, the first of which was of the 1,600-square-foot home he shared with his late mother.

– Additional reporting by AP

Updated: August 30, 2021, 6:43 AM