Malik Yusef, a longtime Kanye West friend and collaborator, discussed the hip-hop artist’s continuing recovery at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, revealing that West suffered memory loss during his prolonged period of erratic behavior.
“I’ve been to his house. Sat down with him for about 6, 7 hours. Just walking through his health and recovery,” he said. “His memory’s coming back. Yeah, his memory’s coming back, which is super good. And just healing. Spending time with his family. Saint [West, his child] is getting big and he’s walking and playing with toys so, you know, that invigorates him.”
When asked if West was working at all, Yusef replied, “Not working. Not working. Just ...” he paused, “going through processes.”
Yusef, who has worked with the artist for years, helped with West’s two songs ― “Ultralight Beam” and “Famous” ― nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, as well as much of West’s 2016 album “The Life of Pablo,” which was also nominated for Best Rap Album.
It was around this time last year ― “The Life of Pablo” was released exactly a year ago Tuesday ― that people started to worry about West. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, Rhymefest, a formerly longtime collaborator of West’s, said he hoped the artist would get “healthy” and “happy” following a tweet in which he wrote that West “needs help, in the form of counseling.”
West was hospitalized in Los Angeles later in 2016 for exhaustion after police received a call for help. The hospitalization followed a prolonged period of strange behavior for West that included odd Twitter rants, criticism of Beyoncé, the cancellation of his tour and support for President Donald Trump.
He has since slowly begun returning to public life and is currently in New York for New York Fashion Week.