Rapper Kanye West hospitalised for exhaustion, says his representative

Rap superstar Kanye West was hospitalised on Monday with a "medical emergency" after cancelling his tour.
Rap superstar Kanye West was hospitalised on Monday with a "medical emergency" after cancelling his tour.PHOTO: NYTIMES

LOS ANGELES (NYTimes, AFP) - Rapper Kanye West was hospitalised on Monday in Los Angeles for exhaustion, hours after he cancelled the remainder of his 2016 tour, his representative said.

The Los Angeles Police Department said that it had responded to a call in the West Hollywood area at 1.20pm, but that the encounter became a "medical emergency" and was handed off to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

West's representative said the call had come from the rapper's doctor and that he was taken willingly to UCLA Medical Center for evaluation.

The episode happened two days after his rambling onstage tirade against fellow artists Jay Z and Beyonce.

The Saint Pablo Tour was to run through Dec 31 but all 21 remaining shows have been cancelled, a spokesman for promoter Live Nation said.

An unnamed source told People magazine: "He is exhausted and currently dealing with sleep deprivation. He went to the hospital at will under the advice of his physician. He's fine."

Website TMZ quoted a source as saying the rapper was pulling out of the tour because he was exhausted. "He's been working around the clock on fashion design, both his own line and the Adidas line," the source said.

The tour cancellation followed a demanding three months for West. Since August, he has performed around 40 dates in Canada and the United States, rapping above the stage on an innovative "floating" platform.

He also unveiled the new season of his Yeezy fashion line with an elaborate performance art event in September in New York. He was in the middle of his set at a gig in New York when he was informed that his wife, reality TV queen Kim Kardashian, had been robbed at gunpoint in a hotel in Paris.

West has not spoken publicly about the incident but TMZ's source said time spent away from family had added to the rapper's stress.

He cancelled several dates the following week but made a comeback in his hometown, Chicago, and performed without incident until a show in Oakland on Oct 22 where he described the Grammys as "rigged."

The latest cancellation followed a Saturday night show in Sacramento, where West showed up an hour late and performed three songs before berating other artists and defeated White House hopeful Hillary Clinton, and cutting the performance short.

West said he was "hurt" because Beyonce supposedly said she would not perform at an awards show unless she wins Video of the Year over him.

"I've been sent here to give y'all my truth, even at the risk of my own life, even at the risk of my own success, my own career," West said.

He implored Beyonce's husband, rapper Jay Z, to "call me, bro, you still ain't called me," adding that he was hurt that Jay Z had failed to visit his family after the robbery.

"Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please don't send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man," he added, appearing to suggest that his friend employed hitmen.

He also criticised Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg for failing to give him US$53 million (S$75.4 million) to get out of debt.

The rapper told an audience on Thursday that he did not vote but would have chosen Republican Donald Trump, sparking angry fans to boo the star and throw items on stage.

West - who has talked about plans to run for president in 2020 - earned US$17.5 million this year, according to Forbes magazine, which placed him 11th in the list of hip hop's highest-paid superstars. The magazine predicted West would lose around US$10 million from the cancellation.

There was some support for the star on Twitter as well as an angry backlash, with fans accusing him of "crazy talk" and having "lost the plot."

West himself raps about going off his medications on his latest album. On the song Feedback, he raps, "I been outta my mind a long time," and "Name one genius that ain't crazy."

Another tune FML includes West's rap: "You ain't never seen nothing crazier than / this n-a when he off his Lexapro." It is a psychiatric drug used to treat anxiety and depression.