Kanye West's late mother, Donda West, would have turned 71 on Sunday, July 12, a milestone the reality star marked on social media by sharing a sweet throwback video of Kanye and Donda singing his song "Hey Mama."
Kim shared the clip without comment, letting the visible bond the mother and son shared speak for itself.
"Hey Mama" appears on Kanye's 2005 album "Late Registration." The lyrics serve as a tribute to the rapper's mother, praising her choices as a single parent while she raised her son in Chicago, where she taught English and eventually became the English Department Chair at Chicago State University.
"Hey mama, I want to scream so loud for you," Kanye and Donda sing in the clip, smiling as they groove to the beat. "Cause I'm so proud of you, let me tell you what I'm about to do (hey mama) …"
Donda died in 2007 at age 58 after suffering a heart attack. The coroner's report stated that she had "coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to or as a consequence of liposuction and mammoplasty." The plastic surgeon who performed the procedures had reportedly been hit with at least two malpractice suits at the time of Donda's death.
"My mother was my everything," Kanye told MTV News in 2005 when asked about his childhood.
Donda apparently felt the same way about her son.
Shortly before her death in 2007, the educator and Fulbright Scholar released a memoir called "Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star."
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune while promoting her book, Donda said of Kanye: "We need more people who aren't afraid to speak their minds. I have always encouraged him to think and to speak the truth as he sees it."
Kanye, who has talked about the painful impact Donda's death had on his mental health in the past, is rumored to be going through a manic episode as part of his bipolar disorder, with some attributing his recent presidential campaign announcement and confusing Forbes interview to the illness.
If that is indeed the case, it could be exacerbated by the passage of her birthday.
"His mother is his life," Kanye's friend DJ Khaled told the Tribune in 2007. "And he had a close bond with her; they were best friends."