Kanye West’s latest comments about his custody battle with Kim Kardashian didn’t involve a social media rant. Instead, the rapper, now professionally known as Ye, spoke through his music, releasing “True Love,” featuring the late XXXTentacion, on May 27. On the track, the 24-time Grammy winner candidly rapped about his and Kardashian’s four children, North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3, and how he’s struggled with co-parenting amid their divorce.
“Wait, when you see the kids? I’ll see y’all tomorrow / Wait, when the sun set? I see y’all tomorrow / Wait, when I pick ’em up, I feel like they borrowed / When I gotta return them, scan ’em like a barcode / Wait, no hard feelings, but these feelings hard though,” West raps in one “True Love” verse, per Billboard.
Also in the track, Ye claims that his children aren’t allowed to wear his Yeezy clothing brand anymore, either: “Wait, who got the kids in those ‘What are thosе?’ / Wait, why they can’t wear Yeezys with the cargos? / Y’all know Nikе don’t like me, y’all take it too far, though / At least have ’em in some Mike’s, he played for Chicago / I only see three kids, who watchin’ Chicago?”
Claiming he has “no hard feelings” in the song’s bridge, West also raps that despite what “nannies” tell his children, “daddy’s not gone.” He even seems to reference the Calabasas, California, home he bought across the street from Kardashian in order to be closer to them with other such “True Love” lyrics as “Let the kids dig a tunnel to my house like Chapo / Only neighbor in the hood with a door they can knock on / I leave the light on.”
In a press release provided to Billboard, longtime XXXtentacion collaborator John Cunningham explained that the late rapper began working on the track before he was killed in a 2018 armed robbery in Florida. Four years later, Cunningham played Ye the demo in January while he was working on Donda 2. “As soon as Ye heard it and started singing over the instrumental section in between X’s choruses, it felt like the song was always meant to be finished by him,” the writer-producer said. “As someone X has cited for years as one of his biggest inspirations both musically and more widely as an individual, Ye breathed a life into the song that I feel blessed to have been witness to.”
West, who also included emotional lyrics about his family on his first Donda album in 2021, has been vocal about his ongoing divorce. After nearly seven years of marriage, Kardashian filed for divorce in February 2021, and she was declared legally single in March. As of May 2022, however, their divorce has still not been finalized, nor has the custody issue been resolved. In the interim, West has publicly taken issue with his ex allowing North to be on TikTok and accused Kardashian of barring him from Chicago’s birthday party in January. Kardashian, for her part, addressed her ex’s public outbursts in a February statement via her Instagram stories.
“Kanye’s constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create,” she wrote, in part. “As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision—because it brings her happiness. Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye’s obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all.”
Adding that she has “wanted nothing but a healthy and supportive co-parenting relationship” from the beginning, the Skims co-founder noted that she hoped to “handle all matters regarding our children privately,” moving forward.
It’s unclear, however, if that also includes song lyrics.