Kanye West has succeeded in legally changing his name to just “Ye,” thanks to a Monday (Oct. 18) order from a California state court that granted formal approval to the star’s short new name.
Less than two months after Kanye Omari West filed a petition seeking to change his name for “personal reasons,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams formally signed off on the new name, a court spokesperson confirmed to Billboard.
Beyond those stated “personal reasons,” the petition did not offer any additional explanation of the name change. An attorney and representatives for the rapper did not return requests for comment.
Ye has commonly been used as a shortened version of West’s first name, and it served as the name of Kanye’s eighth studio album, which debuted in June 2018 at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
In an interview shortly after the album’s release, he said “Ye” was a reference to a biblical term for “you.” In a later tweet, he wrote “Who or what is Kanye West with no ego? Just Ye.”
Though notable because of Kanye’s involvement, Monday’s approval was largely a legal formality. Petitions to change a name in California are only rarely rejected, according to the state court system’s website. Rejections usually happen in cases where a court determines that the switch is being made to commit fraud, hide from law enforcement, or for some other illegal purpose.
One odd-sounding requirement is that petitioners like Kanye must publish their proposed name change in a newspaper, with the aim of allowing anyone who would be harmed by the change to object. Court records show that Kanye published such a notice in The Daily Commerce, a Los Angeles-based publication, on four separate occasions over the course of September.