Meaning of “Yikes” by Kanye West

“Yikes” is a song released by the American rapper and record producer Kanye West. The song’s lyrics talk about a number of things, most notably West’s struggle with bipolar disorder and his addiction to the prescription drug opioids used for pain relief. In the song, West refers to his bipolar as his superpower. Regarding his unfortunate addiction to opioids, West raps about the addiction becoming so menacing and frightening that he sometimes got to the point where he scared himself.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Kanye West's Yikes at

All in all, the lyrics of “Yikes” deal with West’s drug addiction and mental health challenges.

Lyrics of "Yikes" by Kanye West

Facts about “Yikes”

  • The song was written by Kanye West and a host of songwriters, including the renowned Kenyan musicians Ayub Ogada and James Mbarack Achieng. The primary reason Ogada and Achieng received credit as songwriters on the track is because their 1970s song “Kothbiro” is sampled quite prominently on the track. Besides the aforementioned artists, several other prominent artists, including Canadian rapper Drake received songwriting credits on this track. All in all, as many as 14 songwriters received credit for writing this song.
  • The track was produced by West and three other music producers: Pi’erre Bourne, Apex Martin and Mike Dean.
  • “Yikes” was originally titled “Exctacy”.
  • The track was released on 11th June, 2018 as the lead single from West’s eighth studio album Ye.
  • “Yikes” debuted at the eighth position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the 10th position on the UK Singles Chart.


Full List of Songwriters

Here is the full list of all the 14 songwriters who received writing credit on “Yikes”:

  1. Kanye West
  2. Drake
  3. Ayuba Ogada
  4. James Mbarack Achieng
  5. Mike Dean
  6. Malik Yusef
  7. Cydel Young
  8. Jordan Jenks
  9. Dexter Mills
  10. Kenneth Pershon
  11. Jordan Thorpe
  12. Daniella Balbuena
  13. Terrence Boykin
  14. Asten Harris

“Kothbiro” by Black Savage

Below is the 1976 track “Kothbiro” written by Ayuba Ogada and James Mbarack Achieng and performed by the band Black Savage. West heavily used a significant portion of “Kothbiro” on his track “Yikes”:


How did Kanye West get addicted to opioids?

During a 2018 interview with TMZ, West revealed his addiction to the prescription drugs began after doctors prescribed them to him after undergoing liposuction surgery. It is worth noting that West’s mother Donda West died in 2007 after undergoing mammoplasty and liposuction.

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