Kanye West's mental breakdown caused by 'unresolved grief' for lost parent, says late mother Donda's boyfriend
'He has not recovered from the loss of his mother. They had such a close bond,' Ulysses Blakely said
Kanye West's late mother Donda West's ex-boyfriend has spoken out about how the rapper never got over his mother's death and how she would have been very "upset" to see her son's apparent mental breakdown in the last couple of weeks. Ulysses Blakely, who dated Donda for years and helped raise the rapper into his late teen years, told New York Post that Kanye was incredibly close to his mother. “This child was plainly and self-evidently extraordinary,” Blakely said. “My personal feeling — just from the person I know — is that this is unresolved grief."
Donda passed away on July 12, 2007, a day after undergoing several cosmetic surgery procedures, including liposuction, a tummy tuck, and breast reduction. Blakely said that it was his belief that Kanye was still processing the pain of losing his mother, and in his memory, it was still as fresh as the day it happened. “He has not recovered from the loss of his mother,” said Blakely. “They had such a close bond.”
This week, Kanye paid tribute to his mother to mark her 71st birth anniversary with a new song called 'Donda.' He has also dedicated a number of songs to her in the past, including 2005’s 'Hey Mama,' and the 2014 tearjerker 'Only One.' In an interview with Q Magazine in 2015, Kanye said “my mother was my everything” adding, “If I had never moved to LA she’d be alive . . . I don’t want to go far into it because it will bring me to tears.”
Blakely said Donda, who at the time of her death was heavily involved with her son’s career, working as his general manager and overseeing his holding company and charitable Kanye West Foundation, believed that her son needed to be sheltered. “She was protective . . . she was a very forceful person who sought to fortify him for the real world,” he explained. “She knew that he was clearly not ordinary and wanted him to take special care and not be injured by our Western way of life.”
Kanye's parents divorced when he was 11 months old and Donda moved to Chicago with her son, where she started dating Blakely. “Before Kanye even went to kindergarten, I taught him mechanical drawing and all about shading,” Blakely recalled. “Literally within a week or two, he’s drawing comic book figures, Superman-style heroes, with accurate musculature. He was doing it all on his own — no one showed him that.”
He added: “We tried to install confidence in him that, as a black child, is not automatic."
Blakely said that he was shocked to see the video of the South Caroline rally where Kanye broke down after making a bid for the presidency of the United States. During his speech, Kanye said that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves, she just had slaves go work for other white people.” “Many of the things he said are not correct, but I’m distressed and concerned about where such things come from. Where did he get those ideas about Harriet Tubman? You know that’s not correct, so where did he get that ideation from?” Blakely said. “You can see his emotional distress and it pains me to see that.
He said: “Donda would have been upset to see her son now, [because] he’s clearly in pain.”