Kanye West Just Legally Changed His Name to Ye
Kanye West can officially refer to himself as the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
The rapper has legally changed his name to Ye. He no longer has a middle name or a last name; he just goes by Ye.
A Los Angeles judge signed off on the change Monday (Oct. 18), according to The Guardian. The Donda hit-maker formally filed the request Aug. 24 and vaguely cited "personal reasons" to explain the decision.
Billboard reached out to Ye's team for additional explanation; however, they did not return requests for comment.
Barring few exceptions, legal name changes are usually accepted in California — but there is one caveat. Before a request can be formalized, the petitioner has to make the change public knowledge by publishing it in a local paper. This is to ensure that no harm can be caused by the court's decision. Billboard noted that Ye publicized a notice in The Daily Commerce four times across the month of September.
Since no one objected, court documents obtained by The Guardian show that his request was easily approved.
The musician has not officially changed his handles on social media to reflect the name change yet. Nor have his accounts on Spotify or YouTube been changed from Kanye West to Ye. It remains to be seen if the change will be reflected professionally or if it was a personal decision.
He has used Ye as a nickname before, and the name also served as the title of an album he released in 2018.
Although his request to legally change his name was not filed until 2021, the rapper famously adapted Ye as his name on Twitter in 2018.
The Guardian noted that he addressed the decision in an interview at the time. He referred to "ye" as a word that frequently pops up in the Bible. "In the Bible it means you. So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us," he explained.
He added that Kanye meant "only one," whereas Ye is "a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything." Perhaps his reasoning for the name change in 2021 is the same as it was back then? We'll have to wait for an official explanation.