Kanye West, legally known as Ye, uploaded a surprisingly frank new video on Friday called “Thanksgiving Prayer,” which is less of a song and more of a self-critical monologue. The lengthy confessional examines his drinking, ego, use of religion for self-righteousness, lack of preparation for his presidential run, and MAGA hat. The video is all the more striking for its blunt purpose: To hopefully move Kim Kardashian West with its honesty.
The five-minute video is shot at what looks like some concrete structure with shafts of light reminiscent of a Ridley Scott film and light blue captions in the middle of the screen that recall the credits to The Shining. It features a cloaked, multi-generational chorus mixed quietly, so West’s monologue takes center stage.
The piece begins on a somewhat upbeat note, with a pun about West’s last name (“Conway West Side”) and a message of gratitude “for family, my blood family, my fans, and our haters. We love you too.” After telling a quick story about taking his five-year-old son to his first football game, where the youngster was able to play catch with Tom Brady (an event West calls “a God’s dream”), he makes the true intent of his video plain.
“All I think about every day is how I get my family back together,” West says, a reference to Kardashian West, who initiated divorce proceedings in February.
West then begins his mea culpa, starting with alcohol. “Drinking affected my health and the health of people around me because I already had a hair-trigger temper, and this just heightened it,” West says, before talking about going on-and-off medication. (In the past, Kanye and Kim have been open about his bipolar disorder, with Kim asking for “compassion and empathy.”)
“There are ways to show confidence without arrogance,” West says in the video, showing some genuine insight around what he refers to as his “ego.”
West next discusses his temper, suggesting that “screaming” may have helped him get ahead in the tempestuous music industry, but “screaming did not help me keep my family together.”
West also wades into more controversial waters, discussing religion and politics. “When I got saved it did not immediately make me a better person. It made me a self-righteous Christian,” he confesses, joking, “I was arrogant with my Jesus. Like I just got me some Jesus at the Gucci store with a stimulus check.”
With politics, he is direct: “Good Lord my wife did not like me wearing the red hat.”
Some of the stress that came his family’s way due to his affiliation with Donald Trump, however, was due to him “not aligning with Hollywood’s political stance,” West claims.
This dovetails with his ill-advised presidential bid, which he admits lacked “proper preparation.” He also acknowledges he had “no allies on either side.” Concerning his one press conference, in which West wore a bulletproof vest and sobbed while talking about abortion, he says, “all my dad had to say afterwards was ‘write your speech next time son.’”
Last on his list is “finances.” West suggests he struggles with a spending problem, but notes he also “let[s] people use me. I’ve had giant entourages. People around me just to make me feel good about myself.”
“I’m thankful for the family that my wife has given me,” he concludes.
Whether Kim watched the video or was having too much fun palling around with Pete Davidson is unknown.
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