What Does Kanye West I See Ghosts Mean?

What Does Kanye West’s “I See Ghosts” Mean?

Over the years, Kanye West has become known for his thought-provoking lyrics and unique artistic vision. One of his most intriguing projects is the album and collaborative project titled “Kids See Ghosts” with Kid Cudi. But what does the phrase “I see ghosts” actually mean in the context of Kanye’s work?

The Metaphorical Meaning

On a metaphorical level, “I see ghosts” can be interpreted as a representation of inner demons or haunting memories that Kanye West has experienced throughout his life. These ghosts could symbolize past mistakes, regrets, or traumatic events that continue to linger in his mind.

Kanye’s lyrics often delve into personal struggles and mental health issues, exploring themes of anxiety, depression, and self-reflection. The phrase “I see ghosts” may serve as a metaphorical expression of these internal battles that he confronts through his music.

Inspiration from Japanese Art

It is worth noting that Kanye West has shown a deep appreciation for Japanese art and culture in his work. In Japanese folklore, spirits and ghosts known as “yĆ«rei” are believed to be lingering souls tied to unfinished business or intense emotions.

This connection to Japanese art could provide insight into Kanye’s usage of the phrase “I see ghosts.” It may be an homage to these traditions and a way for him to explore themes of spirituality, introspection, and growth.

The Collaborative Project: Kids See Ghosts

“Kids See Ghosts,” the album created by Kanye West and Kid Cudi, expands on this concept further. The title suggests that not only Kanye but also Cudi acknowledges these inner demons or ghosts within themselves.

The album delves into their shared experiences and struggles, providing a platform for introspection and self-expression. Through their music, Kanye and Kid Cudi invite listeners to reflect on their own personal ghosts and find solace in embracing vulnerability.

Visual Representation

When it comes to the visual aspect of “I see ghosts,” Kanye West incorporates mesmerizing visuals during live performances. A notable example is his 2018 Camp Flog Gnaw set, where he performed behind a transparent screen that displayed ghost-like figures floating around him.

This visual representation enhances the immersive experience of his music, creating an atmosphere that embodies the ethereal nature of “I see ghosts.”


“I see ghosts” in the context of Kanye West’s work is a multi-layered phrase with metaphorical implications. It represents his personal struggles, introspection, and growth as an artist. Through collaborations like “Kids See Ghosts” and captivating visual elements, Kanye invites listeners to reflect on their own inner demons and find catharsis through music.