Kanye West has followed in the footsteps of fellow musicians Prince, Puff Daddy, and Snoop Dogg by changing his name
The rapper and Yeezy designer, 41, said on Saturday that he would only be known by the name of YE.
“The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” he tweeted.
Of course, the name has a lot of symbolism for the husband of Kim Kardashian West and father of three, who named his last album YE. Not only has the shortened version of Kanye long been a nickname, but the moniker also has spiritual meaning.
“I believe YE is the most commonly used word in the Bible,” he told Real 92.3’s Big Boy when promoting his music in June. “In the Bible it means ‘you.’ So I’m you, I’m us. It went from being Kanye, which means the only one, to being just YE — just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. I’m just more a reflection of who we are.”
YE also appeared to foreshadow his choice earlier this week, when he released a snippet of a song off his new album, Yandhi.
“I’m givin’ up my slave name / I’m givin’ up my slave name,” he sings in the tune, which he played for employees at Fader on Thursday.
The 21-time Grammy winner went on to suggest two of his three kids do the same. “Saint, you don’t really need a last name / North, you don’t really need a last name,” he said of his son, 2, and daughter, 5.
YE’s announcement came hours before his scheduled performance on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. His next EP, Yandhi, will also drop on Saturday night.
Prior to that post, YE shared a video of a teenager named Nino Blu, who thanked the rapper for inviting him to the studio after hearing him perform on the street.
“I’m here with Kanye West,” Blu said in the clip. “My birthday was the other day and I just became homeless because the guy at the place I was living with was a little crazy and I’m living out on the street. And Kanye’s bringing me into the studio right now. He heard me rap, he let me rap with him. He says I have good energy and he’s going to show me some beats and stuff.”
“I feel extremely blessed,” Blu continued. “I feel very happy. I feel like God is just looking out for me right now. I don’t have any words at all to describe what’s going on. It just feels a crazy ass miracle. I just want everyone back there to know that if you have a dream, or if you have anything that you feel like you’re pursuing, keep going for that s— until the very end. You don’t know what potentially could happen. The universe works in very mysterious ways. And I feel extremely blessed for Kanye West to help me out with this.”
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Meanwhile, YE’s name isn’t the only change on the way. Earlier this month, YE surprised fans by announcing plans to move back to Chicago.
“I’ve got to let you all know that I’m moving back to Chicago,” he said in a video obtained by TMZ and shot at OpenMike, an event for Chicago high schoolers hosted by pal Chance the Rapper. “And I’m never leaving again.”
But as serious as he sounds, a source told PEOPLE that wife Kardashian West is not worried about a move to Illinois just yet.
“Kanye has a tendency though to change his mind quickly, so she is just going along with his plans because it makes him happy,” the source explained. “Next week, something else might make him happier.”
Another insider told PEOPLE, “He changes his mind like he changes his underwear.”