Although Kanye West has been back in the spotlight for months now, as he readies his upcoming, fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the rapper's never really explained what he had been doing when he disappeared following the infamous 2009 Taylor Swift incident.
He opened up a little, though, during his appearance on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" in Los Angeles on Tuesday (October 19), explaining that he completely moved out of the country, post-Taylor Swift, to clear his mind and re-examine things.
And, it was Mos Def who advised it.
"It's a pretty bugged out story. I literally left America. I stopped doing music altogether," Kanye told Ellen. "I just took some time -- I went to Japan to get away from paparazzi altogether. And then in November, I moved to Rome and just like lived there. Then, when I came back to the States, I moved to Hawaii and lived there. I lived there for like six months and just worked on music again."
As he continued his explanation, Ye said he learned a lot while being away. First off, he took time to reflect and deal with the passing of his mother and look at all the things he's done ... even before the release of his 2004 debut, The College Dropout.
Kanye said he actually never had a chance to do any of that.
"What was good about going away was ... it was the first time I got to stop, since my mom had passed, because I never stopped and never tried to even soak in what all had happened," said West. "It was the first time I stopped since I actually made it ... since I started. It was time to take a break and just develop more as a person as a creative and focusing more on my thoughts and my ideas and what I wanted to bring to the world."
While the flamboyant rap superstar says he's toned down his personality and hopes to never have another crazy public outburst, he makes it clear he can't stop how he feels about certain things in pop culture.
"I feel like in some ways I'm a soldier of culture. I realize that no one wants that to be my job, and I'll never go on stage again. I'll never sit in an awards show again," explained Ye. "Will I feel convicted about things that really meant stuff to culture that constantly get denied for years and years and years? I'm sorry, I will. I cannot lie about it in order to sell records."
In addition to speaking on his time away, Kanye showed off his new grill ... which isn't exactly a grill. When Ellen asked about it, the rapper explained that he had replaced his bottom row of teeth with a more permanent diamond encrusted version. Why? "I just thought the diamonds were cooler," he explained.
Kanye's upcoming My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is due out November 22.