Citing “multiple authorities familiar with the case,” NBC reports that the 39-year-old rapper-producer was hospitalized “for his own health and safety.” Update: TMZ reports that one of West’s personal doctors believed he was suffering from severe sleep deprivation, which prompted the doctor to recommend his admittance. TMZ adds that West initially refused to go to the hospital and was restrained for transport.
Earlier today, West abruptly canceled the remaining 21 dates of his Saint Pablo Tour without explanation. A source close to West later told E! News that exhaustion was to blame. However, since kicking off the second leg of the tour late last week, West’s behavior became increasingly erratic.
During his concert in San Jose last Thursday, West expressed his support for President-elect Donald Trump, telling the audience, “If I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted on Trump.” He also called on “black people [to] stop focusing on racism.” Inside the arena, his comments were met with boos. Outside, the reaction was just as unfavorable; DeRay Mckesson, a leader of Black Lives Matter, tweeted, “This isn’t the first time he’s said statements that don’t quite make sense to us.”
On Saturday night, Kanye returned to the stage in Sacramento. After performing just four songs, he launched into a tirade that saw him question President Obama’s blackness, accuse Beyoncé of playing politics with the VMAs, and insinuate that her husband, Jay Z, had hitmen who might come for his head. After a half hour, he left the stage and never returned. Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg reacted to the meltdown, saying, “I smoke weed. Weed don’t make you do that. What the fuck is he on?”
The following night, West’s concert in Los Angeles was canceled hours before it was scheduled to take place. The show at LA’s Forum was actually a rescheduled date from when he brought his November 3rd concert at the venue to an early end due to his loss of voice. He had promised to make it up to fans when he could “do better,” offering those who hadn’t requested refunds entry to the show, as well as giving away free tickets to local inner-city schools and music programs.
On his latest album, The Life of Pablo, West makes repeated reference to his struggles with mental health. “You ain’t never seen nothing crazier than/ This nigga when he off his Lexapro,” he raps on the track “FML”.
No doubt recent events have only compounded the stress. Last month West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, was the victim of an armed robbery in Paris, and this month marks the nine-year anniversary of his mother’s death.
Representatives for West could not be reached for comment prior to publication.