In week two of West’s drama-filled return to the spotlight, the rapper, 40, recently walked into TMZ and gave an interview where he intimated that 400 years of slavery was “a choice” for African-Americans.
Though West apologized and later took to Twitter to clarify his comments, writing “the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea,” a source with knowledge of the situation says his controversial declarations are indicative of his current mental health.
“He’s refused to take his meds, and that’s where he’s been, for the last couple of weeks leading into last week, so almost a month now that it’s been,” says the source, adding, “It’s sad.”
A source close to the Kardashian family previously countered claims against his mental health, telling PEOPLE, “Just because Kanye is having a strong opinion does not mean that he is mentally ill or headed for a breakdown. It’s unfair.”
Of his comments about slavery, the source with knowledge of the situation says “No person who is truly mentally stable would dispute something that’s historically true and proven. It’s no different than people in the past who’ve questioned the Holocaust.”
Everyone from Steve Harvey to Ava DuVernay to Will.i.am has weighed in, with some denouncing his views as others support his freedom of speech. On Thursday Justin Bieber took to Instagram with a positive message for West.
Still, the source says the rapper’s celebrity is the only reason there’s a debate. “With Kanye, for some reason, because he is a well-known artist, we’re not looking at [those comments] and saying, ‘This is sickness,'” says the source. “No normal person would say that.”
His TMZ comments came after the rapper had a lengthy interview with Charlamagne tha God, explaining that he had an opioid addiction after his 2016 mental breakdown. Asked whether he was currently taking medication he replied:“Most definitely. It’s an imperfect solution because it calmed me down.” He also revealed to TMZ that he’d previously undergone liposuction.
Related Video: Kanye West Can’t Stop Smiling on a Family Trip to the Zoo with Kim Kardashian and Their Kids
Says the source, “Some of these things just might not be true.” Another source previously told PEOPLE that West’s recent behavior is uncharacteristic.
- Want to keep up with the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
“Kanye is the most amazing person when he’s not acting like this. But when he gets manic, it’s really hard for everyone around him,” the insider said.