Kanye West's breakdown one year later: How the rapper got his life back on track

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Kanye West in New York City. (Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

It’s been one year since Kanye West was taken to UCLA medical center for psychiatric evaluation. The incident came on the heels of the rapper’s abrupt cancellation of his Saint Pablo Tour following a period of bizarre behavior and outbursts.

Today, Kim Kardashian’s husband seems to be in a better place, with a baby on the way and living a somewhat quieter life. However, it was a grueling year to get to this point.

Of course, West has always had a flair for drama. Who can forget his 2005 “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” moment during the Hurricane Katrina telethon, or when he crashed Taylor Swift‘s VMA speech in 2009? But West’s antics last year — public feuds, manic tweeting, and onstage outbursts — clearly had those close to him concerned. The rapper also started voicing his support of President Trump during shows, and took aim at high-profile friends like Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

During one show last fall, West went off on Jay-Z, claiming their kids never played together. He also criticized his Watch the Throne collaborator for not reaching out following Kardashian’s robbery. “Don’t call me after the robbery and say, ‘How you feelin’?’ You wanna know how I’m feeling?” West said on stage. “Come by the house. … Bring the kids by the house, like we’re brothers. Let’s sit down.”

As for Beyoncé, he called her out during another show, saying he was upset by conditions she allegedly set regarding her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that summer. “Beyoncé, I was hurt because I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me and over ‘Hotline Bling,’” West claimed, before abruptly ending his show.

Days later, West canceled his tour and was rushed to the hospital. It was reported the episode was due to sleep deprivation and exhaustion, but neither West nor Kardashian have ever officially commented on the situation. When the “Famous” rapper was released a week later, he didn’t immediately move back home. But he did go visit then President-elect Donald Trump in one of his first public outings. This reportedly irked Kardashian, who supported Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump and Kanye West at Trump Tower. (Photo: Getty Images)

West and Kardashian, 37, lived apart in the weeks that followed. “He is receiving outpatient care somewhere else with a medical team,” a source alleged to People of their separate living situation. “Kim still seems concerned but is supportive. They don’t know for how long Kanye will need outpatient care. … She is very worried about the kids being around Kanye.”

The couple went through a rough patch as West’s issues, coupled with Kim’s robbery, put a strain on their marriage. However, problems were reportedly brewing before his breakdown. West spent the 2016 holidays with Kim and their two kids, North, 4, and Saint, 1, but their marital issues rolled into 2017. “It doesn’t seem like they have plans to split now. Things don’t seem great, but it also seems they are working to change that,” a source claimed to People. “Kanye has been very low-key and Kim appreciates that. With her life not being completely chaotic, she is able to be more understanding and patient with Kanye. Kim seems more hopeful about their future together.”

Despite months of divorce rumors, their work paid off by the time West and Kardashian’s third anniversary rolled around in May. An insider told People that the couple has “been able to process things and move past them, and are very ready for what’s next and not be so focused on the mess that was last year. They’re in a much better place.”

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian go out on a date night in February 2017. (Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images)

While Kardashian eased back into public life, West stayed in the shadows, skipping high-profile events like the Met Gala. They even opted to celebrate milestones — like his 40th birthday — privately on a social-media-free getaway to the Bahamas and a secret trip to Japan. Things appeared to be going so well that in June, the couple decided to hire a surrogate and have a third child. In September, they confirmed baby No. 3 was on the way.

As Kimye got their groove back, so did West as an individual. He returned to the studio, producing albums for Kid Cudi and Pusha T. And in November, he returned to the stage for the first time in nearly a year, surprising fans at Cudi’s concert in Chicago. And this time, West was outburst-free.

A happy Kanye West attends a Lakers game in L.A. in November 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nearly a year of laying low seems to have done the rapper well. Need proof? We haven’t even heard him rant about any of Taylor Swift’s dis tracks! With another little girl on the way next year and perhaps a new album, here’s hoping that West’s year is filled with more highs than lows.

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