Kanye's New Name Doesn't Mean What He Thinks

Kanye's New Name Doesn't Mean What He Thinks
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2021

Just like the kid who never got enough attention in school, Kanye West is back in the news. This time, it's because he officially changed his name.

It's almost like the time Prince changed his name to that symbol and was called The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Except this time, it's more eye-rolling.

After rejecting my t-shirt slogan, "It's KAN-ye, not KAN'T-ye," Kanye Omari West is now known simply as Ye.

That's it. Just Ye.

The move came nearly six months after he and Kim Kardashian divorced in a move that really surprised no one.

Kanye's Ye tweet that says "the being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE." (Yes, I know he said "formally.")
According to the BBC — because that's who you turn to for the latest American rapper news — Ye petitioned the Los Angeles County courts to shorten his name to his two-letter moniker.

But this isn't actually new, it's only official. Back in 2018, Ye tweeted that he was "the being formally known as Kanye West I am YE."

(Yes, I know he said "formally." He meant "formerly." I think.)

As Ye said in a 2018 radio interview, "I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means you. So it's I'm you, I'm us, it's us."

Yeah, not so much.

"It went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye — just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything," he continued.

I don't know about the good or bad, but I'm definitely confused. About everything.

Because I don't know if it's pronounced Yay, as in "Yay, Kanye is attention-seeking again," or Yee as in Yee Olde Rapper.

I mean, I don't want to commit a faux pas and call him Yee when it's really pronounced Yay, or vice versa. And if I spot him across the room and yell "YAY!" will people think I'm just really happy about something?

You can understand why I'm confused, right?

And is Ye now his first name or last name, or is it his only name? Is he doing that one-name thing like Beyoncé and Bono?

Also, Ye is a last name in China that means "leaf," and 5.8 million Chinese people also have that name, so he's going to have a hard time standing out.

Also, I hate to burst his bubble, but Ye is, by far, not the most commonly used word in the Bible. That would be "and," which appears 28,634 times in the King James Version of the Bible.

I mean, I assume Ye was referring to the King James Bible since "ye" doesn't actually appear in the New Revised Standard Version or anything else written later than the 18th century.

The second most commonly used word in the KJV Bible is "the," which is nipping at And's heels with 28,269 occurrences.

If anything, Mister Ye — "mystery," get it? — has named himself after the second-most commonly used word in the Bible.

As in Ye Olde Kanye West.

In a case like that, "ye" is not even pronounced "yee," it's pronounced "the."

Yes, that the.

In Old English, there used to be a character that made the "th" sound, called "thorn."

It looked like this: þ.

It looks like a pregnant capital "I."

A lot of printers didn't have a þ symbol, but they did have the letter "y." So they replaced the thorn with the Y, and it caught on. Even the sign makers started using "y" instead of thorn, which meant the signs said things like "Ye Old Tavern," but it was still pronounced "The Bar."

And because most of us didn't grow up in the 12th century, we didn't know that little change, so we just started calling it "Yee."

Which is why I'm confused: We haven't actually heard how Ye pronounces his new name, so what should we call him?

I know what I'm in favor of.

"Ladies and gentlemen. . . The!"

"Ye" is not only not the most commonly used word in the Bible, it's not even close. If you take out all the articles and conjunctions, then the most frequently used word in the Bible is, of course, "Lord."

In fact, "ye" doesn't even crack the top 20. Number 20 is "with," which clocked in at 5,973 appearances.

Even "unto" landed at number 9 with 8,326 appearances.

"Ladies and gentlemen. . . Unto!"

The word "ye" doesn't even make an appearance until 40th place. So, not the most commonly used word in the Bible. By far.

Speaking of which, "by" ranked 47th, so I wouldn't go around claiming my name was biblically inspired. Otherwise, I'm changing my name to "Thee," which ranked 39th, which would make me better than Ye.

Also, "Me" came in 36th with 3,410 counts. Which really does make Me better than Ye.

Finally, "ye" is actually the plural word for "you." As in "you all."

As in, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Which, in the original Latin, means, "Y'all be careful now, y'hear?"

Or if you don't like to say "y'all," you could always use the word the people from Pittsburgh use: Yinz. As in "Yinz want some pierogies?" 

"Ladies and gentlemen. . . Yinz."

It does have a better ring to it than The Artist Formerly Known As Mr. Kardashian.

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.