Kanye West Lovingly Remembers His Mother, Donda, During Interview With David Letterman

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

In Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, which begins streaming May 31, Kanye West speaks candidly about how the loss of his mom, Donda West, continues to affect him.

As Rolling Stone notes, Donda, who died in 2007 after having cosmetic surgery, never got to meet her four grandkids: North, almost 6; Saint, 3; Chicago, 15 months; and newborn Psalm.

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“This would have been the funnest time of her life,” Kanye says in a promotional video circulating the internet, “to have those kids running around that house, and being able to, like, go and buy them toys … ”

The rapper’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, tweeted an excerpt of the interview, where West shares a poignant story about his mother giving him a gift he thought he didn’t want.

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“I remember my mother bought me a bear that was multicolored, and I was very into [Japanese artist] Takashi Murakami at that time on that third album, Graduation, so she bought it and she said, ‘It kinda … feels like Takashi Murakami,’” West said. “And then I was sort of like, ‘I don’t want that — that ain’t no Takashi Murakami bear.’”

The audience laughed along with West’s memory; then the story began to hold much more weight. West revealed:

“And then she passed … a few weeks after, and I did … everything I could to find that bear and place that bear on top of all the Takashi Murakami stuff I had in the house.”

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It’s cheap and easy to share a laugh at West’s frequent antics, but this feeling of loss is a story that all can relate to and sympathize with. West said he feels his mother’s spirit continues to be with him and their loved ones.

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“But she’s here with us,” he said, “and she’s guiding us.”

Correction: Sept. 16, 2019, 3:53 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and add fuller sourcing.

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