Kanye West has become the latest famous rapper to change his name. The 41-year-old is adopting the nickname ‘Ye’ permanently.
Announcing the change on Twitter on 29 September, he wrote: “The being formally [sic] known as Kanye West. I am YE.”
West has been nicknamed Ye for some time and used the moniker as the title for his eighth album, which was released in June.
The change came ahead of his appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL), where he was expected to launch his new album Yandhi.
As well as being an abbreviation of his current professional name, West has previously said the word has religious significance for him.
“I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means ‘you,'” West said earlier this year, discussing his album title with radio host Big Boy.
“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 confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”
Meanwhile, the rapper also caused controversy by launching an unscripted, pro-Trump rant after his appearance on SNL.
Celebrities and members of the public were quick to criticise West, with Lana Del Rey and Chris Evans leading the outrage.
Lana, who performed at West’s wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014, described his endorsement of the US president as “a loss for the culture”.
“I can only assume you relate to his personality on some level,” wrote Del Rey. “Delusions of grandeur, extreme issues with narcissism.
“None of which would be a talking point if we weren’t speaking about the man leading our country.
“If you think it’s alright to support someone who believes it’s OK to grab a woman… just because he’s famous, then you need an intervention just as much as he does.”
She signed off saying: “Message sent with concern that will never be addressed.”
After his pro-Trump rant, cast members behind West shook their heads as others rolled their eyes. Members of the audience, which included comedian Chris Rock, booed. Rock, a former SNL performer, filmed some of West’s speech and can be heard laughing and saying “Oh My God” as it continued.