"There were times that I contemplated suicide," the rapper told the audience at a Monday screening of his abstract 35-minute film, Runaway. "I will not give up on life again."
The self-proclaimed "soldier for culture" — who did not say when he considered taking his life — added that he wanted to help people who will never have their voices heard. "I do it for them," he said.
Runaway, a mostly dialogue-free film, features nine of West's songs and a prelude with narration from rapper Nicki Minaj. The film will premiere this weekend on MTV, VH1 and BET.
Following West's Video Music Awards incident with Taylor Swift last year, the rapper took some time off. "I left America. I stopped doing music all together," he told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her show airing Tuesday. "What was good about going away [was that] it was the first time that I got to stop since my mom had passed. ... It was time to take a break and develop more as a person, as a creator, and focus more on my thoughts and my ideas and what I wanted to bring to the world."
West's upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, will hit stores Nov. 22.