THE man who helped raise Kanye West says the rap star’s recent meltdown happened because he’s still grieving his beloved mother.
Ulysses Blakeley lived with Kanye and mum Donda throughout his childhood – before she died from a botched cosmetic surgery operation in November 2007.
He said he was “distressed” to see the bipolar rapper tweeting about divorcing his wife Kim Kardashian and labelling her a white supremacist, over the last few days.
The 69-year-old, who still lives in Kanye’s home city of Chicago, says: “I saw Kanye from the beginning and really have nothing but love and positive feelings for him.
“I’m distressed to see him in distress.
“I actually haven’t seen any of the clips or excerpts, but heard about his breakdown. It seems to be a sort of profound, unresolved grief. He feels some isolation.
“If his mother was around, which of the other things in his life wouldn’t have happened, or would have happened differently?
“(He’s missing the) large family framework, which sustains you when you have a tragedy like your mother suddenly dying.”
Blakeley had a special relationship with the superstar, as Donda revealed in her 2007 biography ‘Raising Kanye’, published just before she died.
He was the first she dated after divorcing West’s father Ray, who moved to Maryland and would only see his son in the summers.
Donda wrote: “I thought he was going to be my last love. He and I had a great relationship. Kanye liked him a lot. He would take Kanye to the park for hours near his apartment building.”
It was Blakeley who bought Donda and her son their first home on South Shore Drive in Chicago, which was recently purchased back by Kanye.
Blakeley owned the property until Kanye was eight-years-old, according to the deed.
He was around Kanye for his formative years and was still good friends with him and his mother until Kanye left for New York after signing a deal with Roc-a-Fella Records at the age of 18.
Kanye is now surrounded by the Kardashians and it appears he’s not in touch with any of his former friends in Chicago.
He fell out with childhood pal Che Smith, who ran his mother’s charity Donda’s House, and even old showbiz buddies like Jay-Z.
Blakeley says without these tight inner circles, it would make his grief even more painful, and that being so “special” always made it difficult for Kanye to connect with people anyway.
“He went into an adult and clearly competitive world at 18 I don’t know that he was prepared for that. That was the last time I had any contact with him at all,” said Blakeley.
“Part of the problem is that if you are special you don’t form relationships like other people because you are so different.
“There is some value in personal contact in long-term continuity.
“You gain the understanding that people are in your life for you, not because of what you have and what you can get for them.
“It doesn’t appear that he has a long-term continuity that everyone else has.
“It doesn’t matter how showbizzy the Kardashians are, they’ve still got continuity from birth until now. The same people are still around them. I don’t know that there is that for Kanye.
“Everyone needs people who knew their mother from way back then, to talk with them, and transition through the loss of that person.
“If the people, who’s comforting you didn’t know your mother, never met your mother, then their ability to bridge your emotional state from having her, and then not, is impaired.
“You are kind of isolated in some way.”
Blakeley laughed about Kanye running for US President.
He said he thinks the rapper is joking about running for office, adding: “It’s one of those things said in jest and because you have resources and people to make things come true and bring into existence.
“You tell them: ‘Yeah, I meant that’. So they act on what you said, even though when you said it, it’s s**** and giggles.
“Because you have a couple hundred million, it becomes a thing, not because you have political instincts or feelings.
“That sort of thing is trivial to him. $50 million on a campaign is not bringing down West or Kardashian brand. That kind of expenditure doesn’t mean that much.
“Polls and voting are different. I don’t think there’s really any sort of support for a Kanye presidency. I really like Kanye, but I don’t think there’s support.
“I do have some empathy and sympathy for him, what he’s feeling, it seems like it’s pain in some way, but I don’t know what it is.”