Kanye West had been on the scene for decades when he announced via X in 2018 that he wanted to be known by the name Ye. Three years later, he made the moniker adjustment official, yet people are still wondering why he changed his name. 

When Did Kanye West Change His Name to Ye? 

The rapper first made the announcement about his name change in 2018, writing on X at the time, “[I am] the being formally [sic] known as Kanye West. I am Ye.” 

Ye legally made the name change in 2021, filing a petition in August and citing “personal reasons” for the adjustment. A Los Angeles judge made the change official in October, shifting the musician’s legal name from Kanye Omari West to just Ye. 

“There being no objections, the petition for change of name is granted,” Judge Michelle Williams Court ruled at the time. 

Why Did Kanye West Change His Name to Ye? 

In 2018, the rapper opened up about switching his moniker in a radio interview. “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means you. So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us.” He continued, “[My name] went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything.” 

Ye maintained his religious affiliations after changing his name, and took things to a new level in 2024 when he declared his “issues” with Jesus. 

“There’s a lot of stuff I went through, and I prayed, and I ain’t see Jesus show up,” Ye said in an interview with radio personality Big Boy. “I had to put my experience in this world, my experience with my children, my experience with other people, my experience with my account, my experience with my brand and my experience with the level of music that I was dealing with, in my own hands,” he continued. 

The Yeezy designer later called himself a “God” in the interview. “And anyone who wants to disagree, I’m the God of me,” Ye said. “You can’t tell me who I am. I can’t tell y’all. I could tell y’all. It’s your job to listen. I’m the God of me. I don’t know if I’m in heaven already.”

His take stirred many on social media to rebuke such claims, and ire was revived when Ye referred to himself as “the new Jesus” in his Vultures 1 album released in February 2024. 

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