“Welcome To Heartbreak”

“Welcome To Heartbreak”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Kanye West
“Welcome To Heartbreak”

Written and Recorded by Kanye West

One day we were shooting in a hotel and I was talking to Dave Sirulnick, a producer from MTV, discussing ideas for a performance of mine. He had a small photo album of him and his wife and kids on the beach and doing different things together. It struck me that I really want to be married and have a family, but that hasn’t worked out for me.

My friend showed me pictures of his kids

And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs.

I felt like I was in high school and jealous of what another guy had. I knew that was what I really wanted.

You have to put time and effort into a relationship with the right person and you have to be with the right person to have a family. Being number one is great and I want that but I also want to chase other dreams in my life.

He said his daughter got a brand new report card

And all I got was a brand new sports car.

It was the first time a rap artist spoke condescendingly about property, possessions like a sports car. People are so concerned with what they have or what other people have instead of what’s really important — other people. Things like cars are usually used to show how people make it, but there is nothing more important than home and family.

Dad cracked a joke, all the kids laughed

But I couldn’t hear him all the way in first class

Chased the good life my whole life long

Look back on my life and my life gone

Where did I go wrong?

We need to take the time to look past their possessions to the people themselves. I was so busy chasing my dreams and everything is always moving so fast that I didn’t take the time to be part of everyday life and simple things like a walk to the store.

I became a prisoner of my own fans. I’m not complaining, and I know that I put myself there but, at the end of the day, I had to break out of prison, accept that I will never have a “normal” life, that it is part of the territory, and look beyond it. But I’m trying to live a more normal life — I’m in Hawaii now, where things are slow. I went to a Virgin MegaStore, which I love — I’m like a kid in a candy store there — and nobody was looking at me. It was one of those lost moments that I thank God for.

I expressed a lot of these same feelings in “Pinocchio Story.” I don’t have to be what a celebrity is supposed to be. I don’t want to be a superstar shell of myself. I need to know “Who’s the real person?” I don’t want to simply be a caricature of myself.

Real life, what does it feel like?

I ask you tonight, I ask you tonight

What does it feel like, I ask you tonight

To live a real life

I just want to be a real boy.

The verse in “Welcome To Heartbreak” about missing my sister’s wedding is absolutely true. I had to leave to catch a plane to London. These are real accounts of my life.

Oh my God, sister getting married by the lake

But I couldn’t figure out who I’d wanna take

Bad enough that I showed up late

I had to leave before they even cut the cake

Welcome to heartbreak

It was a tough year after the breakup with my fiancée and losing my mom. This whole album was a poignant reality. I opened myself up to new ideas. I was heartbroken and deflated, lauded and idolized all at the same time. It was a time of the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Kanye West has become a global brand. What I have had to learn is how to separate myself from that and be Kanye, the person who can have a real life and be able to go to soccer games with my kids.

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