Kanye West’s father Ray West has been diagnosed with cancer. But who is Ray West and what is his role in Kanye West’s life?
Kanye West is a very open person when it comes to his mental health in recent years. He’s always shown wonderful support for his mother and the rest of his family. One thing we don’t hear about often is Kanye’s relationship with his own father. Ray West’s recent cancer diagnosis has all of us wondering- Who IS Ray West?
Kanye’s relationship with his father is a bit different than many of our relationships with our own fathers. Donda and Ray West divorced when Kanye was only three years old, most likely due to financial reasons. Kanye West grew up most of the time in Chicago, but he spent every summer with his father. Although their relationship is quiet, Kanye learned a lot from his father.
Ray West was a member of the Black Panther Party during the 60s and 70s but left the Black Panthers after Kanye was born. Ray had a lot of different careers, from being one of the first black photojournalists for the Atlanta Consitution-Journal to being a vacuum salesman. Ray West photographed people like President Ronald Reagan and Maya Angelou, but that wasn’t all he did. Kanye West has said before that his dad was a paparazzo, medical illustrator, Black Panther, and a marriage counselor.
All of these careers are exciting, but such fast changes in careers can have a big impact on someone’s financial situation. Bustle reports that if Ray West was referenced in one of Kanye’s songs, there were often implications of financial struggle. Kanye doesn’t necessarily view this negatively though, as he knows his parents and the way he grew up shaped him into who he is today.
So who was Ray West? Ray was a lot of things, but he has always been a father too. Even when he disagrees with Kanye over things such as Kanye’s opinion of Donald Trump, Ray is still his father. Our thoughts are going out to the family with news of Ray’s cancer diagnosis.