Inside North West's Relationship With Her Dad Kanye

Kanye West has undoubtedly been caught in his fair share of controversy and high-profile media attention — but pushing aside all things problematic involving West, it appears there might be one thing the "Gold Digger" rapper continues to succeed at: Fatherhood. And if any proof is needed of that, all you'd have to do is ask his children. "Kanye will always be their dad and it won't change," a source reported to E! News in 2022 amidst West's divorce from Kim Kardashian. "All the kids are very bonded to Kanye and adore him despite what's going on. Kim is doing a great job of not letting that change their relationship."

However, as much as West loves all of his children, it appears as if his relationship with his eldest daughter North, 10 at the time of publication, is particularly special. For starters, while all of West and Kardashian's children have meaningful names, North was chosen to represent something the pair felt was something monumental. "The way [Kim] explained it to me was that North means highest power and she says that North is [Kim and Kanye's] highest point together," reported grandmother Kris Jenner said on a 2013 episode of "The View."

Beyond having an important name, North shares a bond with her father that we simply haven't seen with any of his other children. Here, we're digging deeper into North West's relationship with her dad Kanye.

North West's birth gave Kanye a new outlook on life

In 2007, Kanye West's mother Donda died following complications from cosmetic surgery. The loss took a huge toll on West, who blamed himself for her death. The two were extremely close, and Donda spent much of West's childhood fostering her son's creativity. After West made it big, she accompanied him to award shows, wrote a book about what it was like raising him, and even managed his career. Following Donda's death, West's mental health began to decline, and for years, he would often publicly display his bouts of depression and worrisome thoughts through live shows and social media.

But after West's first child North was born, things changed immensely for the rapper. "I felt like sometimes I didn't have something to live for," West admitted on a 2013 episode of ex-mother-in-law Kris Jenner's talk show, "Kris." "Now, I have two really special people to live for, a whole family to live for," he said in reference to now ex-wife Kim Kardashian and newborn daughter North.

Kanye West wrote Violent Crimes for North

Kayne West has been outspoken about the protectiveness he feels toward North for a long time — both through his music and in interviews. "I want to learn what my daughter has to say," E! News reported West said on the "Big Boy's Neighborhood" radio show in 2016. "I'm extremely protective," he shared. "When I left Nike for Adidas I did it for my daughter. There was an opportunity to grow. There was love and admiration at Adidas, this was to make a better life for my daughter."

Moreover, West has rapped about his concerns for North, most notably in his 2018 song "Violent Crimes." In the song, which Student Edge refers to as a "rap-lullaby," the musician/songwriter details how his perspective on things has changed since becoming a father. He raps lines like, "Father forgive me, I'm scared of the karma / 'Cause now I see women as somethin' to nurture / Not somethin' to conquer." Furthermore, he adds that he will do everything he can to protect North from men with ill will, saying, "Daddy don't play, not when it come to they daughters."

Many agree that North both looks and acts like Kanye West

As if it weren't enough that Kanye and North West's birthdays fall only a week apart — making them both Geminis — the two share many other uncanny resemblances in both personality and looks. Just taking a quick glance at the two side by side, it becomes apparent that West's features were passed down to his daughter. And to top it all off, West's sense of fashion has had a major hand in molding North's notable style. "Kanye buys her clothes, he buys her toys, and he buys her bags," one source revealed to Life & Style in 2020. "But most of all, he also makes all of his clothing from his clothing line in sizes for North."

When it comes to North's personality, you can be sure that she inherited that from West, too. "North is your twin, she is so creative, expressive, and has so much of your personality," Kim Kardashian told West in a 2019 Vogue Arabia interview. And others agree. "Ever since North was little, she has been very sure of herself," the same source dished to Life & Style. "She likes to pick out her own clothes — much to Kim's dismay! — and can be very persistent but also has that sweet, ensuing personality, like Kanye."

Kanye West called his daughter his 'greatest inspiration'

While North West has given Kanye West a newfound purpose, as well as a "mini-me," she's also been an inspiration for his creative endeavors. An insider told Life & Style that West refers to his daughter as "his little muse," explaining, "Whenever he's working on something or has an idea for a new project, he always runs them by North." Additionally, in a 2015 interview with SHOWstudio, West revealed that in the past, he would get creative visions from watching Paris fashion shows, but that changed after North was born. "Now, I'm on the first flight home to see my greatest inspiration — that's my daughter," he shared.

Interestingly enough, it seems that North feels the same way about her dad. On a 2023 episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Kim Kardashian confessed she has kept every single Yeezy clothing design that West made while the two were together, stating that she kept them as "tributes" for her children. It appears North has already taken advantage of her mother's Yeezy stash: On numerous occasions, North can be seen paying homage to West by dressing up in his likeness, such as her 2023 Halloween costume of the bear mascot from the cover of West's 2007 album "Graduation."

Kanye helped instill North West's passion for music

For anyone who has been keeping up with North West since she was born, there's no question that her flair for drama can charm viewers. Kanye West, as a performer and fan of the arts, exposed his daughter North to all things musical and performance-based from a young age. West is reportedly a huge fan of Broadway musicals — particularly "Wicked" — so North has spent her whole life witnessing creativity. In fact, when child star JoJo Siwa had the opportunity to watch North onstage at one of West's shows, she instantly noticed her ability.

"I just saw the video of her performing at Kanye's Sunday Service today, and I responded to Kim [Kardashian] and I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, this is the cutest thing ever,'" Siwa gushed to Life & Style at BuzzFeed's Internet Live in 2019. "I remember talking to Kim and she was saying that North wants to follow in her dad's footsteps. So, I definitely think North has the potential." Siwa went on to share that she can see North becoming a huge star since she appears to have "the full package." A few years later, Kim Kardashian appeared on an episode of "Ellen" and shared that North enjoys listening to Black Sabbath, showing off how eclectic the budding performer's music interests are. 

Kanye has entrusted North with their family's legacy

Though Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are no longer married, the empire that they created together is one that stands strong — mainly through their four children. But out of all their kids, West has admitted that he sees something special in North West, which he believes will allow her to carry on her parents' legacies.

"I'm saying stuff to her like, 'Never let anyone take anything from you. Protect your little brothers and sisters. Protect the family. Never let anyone take our company,'" West told ABC News in 2022. "I'm literally saying this to her because I realize she's one of the people in the family that will make sure that no one ever takes our company, no one ever takes what me and Kim have built with both of our brands and the brands that we're building now."

As for how North feels about taking over the family brands? She's totally on board. The young West had her first solo interview in 2023, where she discussed her future. When i-D asked what she wants to be when she gets older, North replied, "A rapper, a basketball player, and I'm going to make artwork that I sell. Also, one day I want to own Yeezy and SKIMS, and I want to be a business owner."

Kanye West is vocal about not wanting his daughter on TikTok

When TikTok took the world by storm during the COVID-19 pandemic, many celebrities were leading the pack — including then 7-year-old North West. Initially, North was only allowed to film and save her videos. "North has a private TikTok account, so we do lots of TikToks together, and she puts them in drafts," Kim Kardashian told Entertainment Tonight back in 2020. "She's not allowed to post them, but we have a lot of TikToks." By 2021, Kardashian and North had made a joint TikTok account, where the mother-daughter-duo posts funny videos, trends, and fashion and makeup tutorials.

Kanye West, however, was not on board with his daughter's social media ventures. The Sun reported that in 2022, the rapper posted an Instagram story that read, "SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST DIVORCE I NEED TO KNOW. WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER BEING PUT ON TIK TOK AGAINST MY WILL?" Seemingly, West's online attack against Kardashian didn't phase her, as the joint TikTok account stayed active.

In 2023, Kardashian finally decided to side with West regarding their daughter's use of TikTok. In one video, North dressed up as rapper Ice Spice and could be seen mouthing along to some rather risqué lyrics. "As soon as I saw the words, I was like, "Oh no, we're taking this down,'" Kardashian told Time. "I saw on the internet, [people saying] 'Kanye was right,' and maybe he was in that instance."

Kanye opposes North West wearing makeup

When Kim Kardashian is your mom, it seems natural to have a curiosity about all things beauty-related. After all, Kardashian's KKW Beauty became a billion-dollar company (which is reportedly being rebranded under the famed personality's SKKN brand). But Kardashian has admitted that sharing her passion with North West has gotten her in trouble with Kanye West at times.

"North is trying to get in on the makeup but she's being blocked heavily because her dad has stopped all makeup for her until she is a teenager," Kardashian explained to E! News in 2019, prior to her split from West. "It's a big discussion, a big fight in the household right now but it is what's best." She added that even allowing her daughter to wear makeup on special occasions had caused a stir. "I'd let her wear — you know, she has a little red for Christmas — I'd let her wear a red lip, or I'd let her do one pop of something ... So I kind of got in trouble for that."

Eventually, West finally had enough and banned his daughter from wearing makeup altogether. However, now that he is no longer living with North, Kardashian has gone behind his back on numerous occasions. "Don't have my daughter wearing lipstick on TikTok, or don't have her on TikTok at all, if I'm not there to approve that," West said as a jab to Kardashian in an interview with Hollywood Unlocked.

North West has become close with Kanye's new wife

Kanye West shocked fans everywhere when he disappeared for several weeks in 2022 and was then reported to have tied the knot with Australian Yeezy employee Bianca Censori in a low-key ceremony. While many were left to wonder how the marriage would affect ex-wife Kim Kardashian and the former pair's four children, 2023 showed us that North West and Censori actually may be quite close. In the weeks following West's marriage to Censori, the newlyweds were seen dining with North at Nobu in Malibu, and later hanging out at Universal Studios Hollywood in March 2023. Additionally, North attended church with her father and new stepmother that very same month.

What's more, North and Censori were spotted arriving at Kanye West's 46th birthday party holding hands. Sources report that Kardashian is becoming increasingly jealous of her daughter's relationship with Cansori, further highlighting just how much North enjoys spending time with her stepmom. One source told The Mirror that North thinks Censori is "super cool," and that it "gets under her mother's skin." They added, "Kim thinks Bianca is getting too close to her daughter," and confirmed that Kardashian is jealous of West's wife. "This woman has done stuff to make herself look like Kim. It's already a nightmare co-parenting with [Kanye]; this is just another wrench."

North prefers staying at her dad's over her mom's

With all of Kim Kardashian and North West's TikTok appearances, the pair looks inseparable from the outside. But behind closed doors, there may be a different story. In a November 2023 episode of "The Kardashians," Kim told her sister Kourtney that North actually prefers staying with Kanye West. "She'll be like, 'Dad is the best. He has it all figured out. He doesn't have a nanny, he doesn't have a chef, he doesn't have security. He lives in an apartment.'" Kim added, "She'll start crying, 'Why don't you have an apartment? I can't believe we don't have an apartment.'"

It was reported in 2023 that West and his new wife Bianca Censori moved into a $20,000-a-month West Hollywood apartment while renovations began on his $57 million Malibu beachfront house. The couple kept things very low-key during those six months and didn't have help staff or security employed. "Kanye loves his kids and wants the best for them and wants them to certainly enjoy what they are provided from their parents' successes, but he also wants them to live a simpler life and appreciate what they can work hard for," a source explained to the Daily Mail. "Kanye doesn't want his kids to be jaded and spoiled, he wants them to know they can do anything, but it just takes a little more hard work to achieve that." It sounds like his daughter has enjoyed the simple life.