On Saturday afternoon, Kanye West had a very important announcement to make to his social media followers: He would be changing his stage name from Kanye to the shortened version of Ye.
“The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” he wrote on Twitter ahead of his Saturday Night Live appearance, where he was booed for a pro-Trump rant on stage.
Following in the footsteps of his rapper peers, such as Diddy and Snoop Dogg, who have changed their names for art’s sake, Ye’s new moniker shouldn’t come as that big of a shock to his fans. It was the title of his latest album, and Ye has also become a common nickname for the dad of three.
Additionally, he referenced the spiritual significance of the name during his eponymous promo tour.
“I believe Ye is the most commonly used word in the Bible,” he told Real 92.3’s Big Boy in June. “In the Bible it means ‘you.’ So I’m you, I’m us. It went from being Kanye, which means the only one, to being just Ye—just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. I’m just more a reflection of who we are.”
Naturally, Twitter poked fun at the sudden rebrand, with one user highlighting how Dunkin’ Donuts also adjusted their name to simply Dunkin’ earlier this week. “First Dunkin Donuts, now Kanye.”
Ye also makes sense in regard to a snippet of a song off his new album, Yandi. “I’m givin’ up my slave name / I’m givin’ up my slave name,” he sings on the track, suggesting his children will do the same. “Saint, you don’t really need a last name / North, you don’t really need a last name.”