Kanye West’s ‘stepfather’ reveals he was ‘prodigy genius child’December 6, 2018
EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West’s ‘stepfather’ says he was ‘prodigy genius child’ with an ego and slight speech impediment as details of rapper’s childhood reveals he loved nude Thai beaches and preferred ‘self love’ to having girlfriends
- Kanye West’s ‘stepfather’ revealed he was a ‘prodigy genius child’ who could at age three do 3D life drawings and was offered a scholarship at a local college
- Ulysses Blakeley, 67, lived with West and his mother Donda in Chicago throughout the musician’s childhood, from when Kanye was three to 11
- Speaking to DailyMailTV, Blakeley says Kanye’s talent was ‘off the scale’ and Kanye would rap in poems instead of speaking normally
- He said: ‘We installed into him an unshakable belief in his own talents, we encouraged him, and when he does things different, you don’t judge anything’
- He added: ‘But he couldn’t say the z sound, he’d call a zebra, a yeebra. Maybe this is where Yeezus comes from, playing on this [impediment] and Jesus’
- It was Blakeley who bought Kanye and his mother their first home on South Shore Drive in Chicago, where Kanye made his first makeshift recording studio, seen today in DailyMailTV exclusive photos
- Blakeley had a special relationship with West, Donda revealed in her 2007 biography, Raising Kanye, which was published just before she died
- In her book, Donda revealed Kanye loved nude Thai beaches after visiting Asia as a child and later said he preferred to masturbate instead of having girlfriends
The man who considers himself a ‘stepfather’ to Kanye West has told DailyMailTV the outspoken rapper has always had an ego as he reveals that the ‘prodigy genius child’ had a slight speech impediment and had dreams of becoming a baseball player.
Ulysses Blakeley lived with West and his mother Donda throughout the musician’s childhood, and was one of her last true loves before she died after a botched cosmetic surgery operation in November 2007.
The 67-year-old watched Kanye grow up from the age of three to 11 and even bought Donda and Kanye their first home on South Shore Drive in Chicago.
Speaking to DailyMailTV, Blakeley says that from a young age Kanye’s talent was ‘off the scale’, saying he was ‘a prodigy genius child from when I first set eyes on him’.
Blakeley had a special relationship with West, Donda revealed in her 2007 biography, Raising Kanye, which was published just before she died.
The book never gained much publicity, despite revealing Kanye was in awe of nude Thai beaches that he saw as a child when visiting Asia and took his mother’s advice to masturbate instead of getting a girlfriend.
Kanye West’s ‘stepfather’ has told DailyMailTV that the outspoken rapper has always had an ego as he reveals that the ‘prodigy genius child’ had a slight speech impediment and had dreams of becoming a baseball player
Speaking to DailyMailTV, Blakeley says that from a young age Kanye’s talent was ‘off the scale’, saying he was ‘a prodigy genius child from when I first set eyes on him’
Ulysses Blakeley lived with West and his mother Donda throughout the musician’s childhood. The 67-year-old watched Kanye grow up from the age of three to 11 and even bought Donda and Kanye their first home on South Shore Drive in Chicago
Blakeley was the first man Donda dated after divorcing West’s father Ray, who moved to Maryland and his son would only see him in the summers.
It was up to Blakeley to fill the vacuum of having no father around, as Blakeley said: ‘I kind of guess he saw me as a stepfather, I was there from three to around 11.’
In her memoir, Donda writes: ‘Ulysses Buckley Blakeley Jr., or Bucky, was one. 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 in Evanston [in Chicago]. Kanye used to call that park ‘Bucky’s Park.’
The couple only split because West and his mother took off to China for a year, as she had been offered a teaching post at Nanjing University.
The pair remained friends when they returned and Blakeley attended Donda’s funeral, which was the last time he spoke to Kanye.
According to Blakeley, West was always exceptional and at age three could do 3D life drawings and was later offered a scholarship at the local college despite being way too young.
But despite his artistic talent and genius, Blakeley said his real passion was baseball.
He said: ‘He was a little boy, preschool. He was off the scale. But most of all he wanted to be a baseball player. He was physical and athletic. There was no music.
‘But, one time, someone asked him when they were looking at his drawings: ‘Do you want to be an artist when you grow up?’ He said: ‘I am an artist’. The ego’s always been there!
‘But he couldn’t say as a child the z sound, he’d call a zebra, a yeebra. Maybe this is where all the Yeezus thing comes from, playing on this [impediment] and Jesus. It’s just game play, that typical bravado rap.’
Ulysses Blakeley was one of Donda’s last true loves before she died after a botched cosmetic surgery operation in November 2007
Blakeley said Kanye would rap in poems all the time instead of speaking normally, even for the most mundane things, like passing the salt at the dinner table.
‘We installed into him an unshakable belief in his own talents, we encouraged him, and when he does things different, you don’t judge anything he does artistically or poetically. So he would speak to you in poems, and sometimes, he’d talk in riddles, and it would be like: ”Stop that now”. But we tried not to be like that,’ he adds.
Although Blakeley says that he doesn’t know how much influence he had on West’s music and art, he does admit: ‘How much of Kanye was innate and nothing to do with us? It might have been us or might have been the environment we created. We were both musical, writers, and cultural. Did that provide the path to wherever he is?’
Although West was different, he didn’t get bullied and would stand up for himself, a trait he shared with everyone in his family.
‘He was a tough little kid, not bully-able in any way, shape or form. I remember one time he was out in the park, a boy who was ten or eleven, and Kanye was only five, took his Frisbee and threw it in the tree,’ says Blakeley.
‘Kanye told him to get it down, but this boy just played around with him, so Kanye socked him, pow, he kicked his a**, regardless of his size. There’s not this intellectual, nerdy reticence in him. There’s nobody in his family like that, they’re forthright and aggressive.’
But the family did go to church and Sunday School every week. Donda says in her book that they’d attend Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, a black megachurch on the South Side: ‘I wanted Kanye to be steeped in that kind of exposure to God.’
It’s a little known fact that West also went to a ‘positive thinking’ kindergarten for black children called the New Concept Development Center, where he was taught Swahili by Donda’s trusted friend and fellow professor, Haki Madhubuti.
The star’s very first music studio was his bedroom on Longwood Drive, Blue Island (pictured) – which is now an abandoned, ramshackle home, until his mother booted him out for playing his music 24/7
Blakeley said him and Donda ‘installed into him an unshakable belief in his own talents, we encouraged him, and when he does things different, you don’t judge anything he does’
When Donda and West went to China, they traveled to Thailand, frequenting the red light district of Bangkok and visiting nude beaches on Koh Samui.
They also slummed it in the infamous Chungking Mansions, in Hong Kong, a ghetto block, notorious for its sex workers and drug peddlers.
According to her book, Donda reveals: ‘Once, Kanye and I literally took the slow boat from Canton to Hong Kong, where we’d spend two weeks before going on to visit Thailand.
‘In Hong Kong, we stayed in what became known as Slum King Mansion. The bath was down the hall and the room was definitely no-frills. The cost was eleven US dollars a night, if that tells you anything.
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‘When we got to Thailand we visited Bangkok first. Kanye went right along to the red-light district with me. From there it was on to Koh Samui. The beaches there are some of the most beautiful in the world.
‘I was totally embarrassed, though, when one of the professors (also a Catholic priest) asked Kanye what was the favorite part of his holiday. Kanye answered: ”The nude beaches in Thailand”.’
But this is nothing compared to the revelations that Donda reveals about West’s sexual habits when he was approaching his teenage years.
She wrote: ‘I talked with him about it, like I talked with him about everything. There was no topic that was off limits, not even sex. When he was twelve, that conversation came up.
‘It was my time to car pool and Kanye was in the car along with two of his friends. Jocelyn Elders came on the radio and, as I remember it, she was talking about the rise of teenage pregnancy.’
Blakeley said: ‘He was a little boy, preschool. He was off the scale. One time, someone asked him when they were looking at his drawings: ‘Do you want to be an artist when you grow up?’ He said: ‘I am an artist’. The ego’s always been there!’
Donda revealed in her book that she encouraged Kanye to masturbate rather than having sex with girlfriends at a young age. She added: ‘I found out later my words had sunk in because Kanye told me so’
Donda continues in the book: ‘That’s when I told Kanye and his friends that masturbation was a far better alternative to having sex at such a young age.
‘I told them it was perfectly healthy, normal, and gratifying and that they did not have to participate in sex with another partner and risk some young lady getting pregnant or contracting a venereal disease, not the least of which was AIDS. They said nothing.
‘They just sat there anxious for us to get to school I’m sure, so they could get out of that car. I found out later my words had sunk in because Kanye told me so.’
After coming back from China, the pair moved home several times.
Blakeley had a special relationship with West, Donda revealed in her 2007 biography, Raising Kanye, which was published just before she died
The star’s very first music studio was his bedroom on Longwood Drive, Blue Island – which is now an abandoned, ramshackle home, until his mother booted him out for playing his music 24/7.
Donda reveals: ‘Kanye spent hours and hours mixing, rapping, and writing. It was nonstop. He became so involved that his socializing revolved around that studio in his room.
‘That thumping bass line seemed to shake the very foundation of our house. Boom-boom-boom day and night. There were all sorts of people coming in and out of the house.
‘Mainly it was the thundering bass that was no longer welcome—not all day and all night, anyway. I finally had to say to Kanye: ‘You’re moving’.’
Another of his former homes, a tiny, rundown apartment on Lake Bluff Drive, Tinley Park, is where West saw the apparition of Christ – Yeezus meets Jesus!
Donda reveals: ‘One day Kanye was playing in the dining room of our first home in Chicago, a third-floor apartment on the South Side.
‘All of a sudden, he looked toward the door and the staircase leading down. He pointed and said, ‘Look, there goes Jesus!’ My heart raced. I saw energy.
Blakeley watched Kanye grow up from the age of three to 11 and even bought Donda and Kanye their first home on South Shore Drive in Chicago (pictured)
The house was meant to be turned into a community center for the youth, but arguments between a charity named after Donda and Kanye means it hasn’t happened yet
‘To this day, I believe it was Christ giving us just a little extra protection that day. Neither Kanye nor I have spoken of it since.
‘But it was very real to me and just one of the reasons I think Kanye is connected in a special way or for a special purpose. God has chosen him to not only reach but also touch millions.’
Kanye’s first job was as a busboy collecting plates at the American diner chain Bob Evans.
Although, according to Donda, ‘he decided immediately that bussing tables was not something that would work for him. He quit on his first day before he even started.’
When West finally broke onto the music scene, he moved to New York, where he found an apartment at the Hudson Tea Building, in New Jersey, directly across the river from Manhattan, as can be seen in our images.
‘We rented it, sight unseen. It was $850 a month, with a living room and a step-up great room with a glass ceiling. You could actually look up and see the sky. It was wonderful. And Kanye was inspired…
‘Kanye loved that place. He called up his friends and said, ‘Man, you should see this place. It’s like something off of TV.’ Kanye was exactly where he wanted to be. He was on his way to fulfilling his dream,’ says Donda in her book.
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