It's been a tough year for Kanye West. Not that you noticed: with a new album coming out, triumphant performances at the VMAs and on SNL and his usual omnipresence in the fashion world, West seems to be doing okay for himself.

But the rapper got personal at a recent interview session following the screening of his new short movie, Runaway, which tells the fictional story of West's romance with a girl who turns into a phoenix from outer space. If you didn't read the deluge of tweets he posted about his remorse for his famous incident with Taylor Swift, you might not have realized that West chose to disappear from the public eye for some time afterwards. For four months after the show, he stopped writing and traveled, attempting to "rebuild his brand," reported BBC News from the interview.

West, 33, suffered from nervous breakdowns and depression. "Three years ago I contemplated not being here any more. I decided to stick through the pain and onslaught of the world," he said. But West is ready to turn things around. "In a way, I had thrown a Molotov cocktail at my own career, and it gave me an opportunity, for the first time, to go away and find out who I was, because I felt very alone," he said, according to

For inspiration, he drew upon a well-known megastar. "With the passing of Michael Jackson, I feel a responsibility to bring things to our generation that can inspire and bring real culture to pop culture," he said. "I want to use my power in a proper way." –AMY LEE

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