Kanye West surrounds himself with friends during the first playing of his latest album, Ye, in Moran. Picture: NYT

Chart-topping rapper Kanye West has admitted he thought about killing himself "all the time".

The 41-year-old rapper - who is married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian West - suffered a nervous breakdown in 2016, and the 'Stronger' hitmaker has now confessed to frequently experiencing suicidal thoughts.

He shared: "I've thought about killing myself all the time. It's always a option and [expletive]. Like Louis C.K. said: I flip through the manual. I weigh all the options."

Kanye subsequently revealed the extent to which he's considered taking his own life.

Speaking to the New York Times newspaper, the 'Famous' hitmaker explained: "I'm just having this epiphany now, 'cause I didn't do it, but I did think it all the way through. 

"But if I didn't think it all the way through, then it's actually maybe more of a chance of it happening."

Kanye - who has kids North, five, Saint, two, and five-month-old Chicago - also revealed he feared his wife would end their relationship following his controversial interview with TMZ, in which he made inflammatory comments about slavery, earlier this year.

He confessed: "There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, 'Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?' So that was a real conversation."

What's more, Kanye tried to clarify his thoughts on slavery, having previously suggested it was a choice for many African-Americans.

Asked how he would frame his view if he was given the chance, Kanye said: "I wouldn't frame a one-liner or a headline. What I would say is actually it's literally like I feel like I'm in court having to justify a robbery that I didn't actually commit, where I'm having to somehow reframe something that I never said. 

"I feel stupid to have to say out loud that I know that being put on the boat was - but also I'm not backing down, bro. What I will do is I'll take responsibility for the fact that I allowed my voice to be used back to back in ways that were not protective of it when my voice means too much."

Asked what he meant by "back to back", Kanye added: "Wearing the [Donald Trump] hat, because my voice is unprotected, and I believe that the black community wants to protect my voice. By me saying slave in any way at TMZ left my voice unprotected. 

"So it's not a matter of the facts of if I said that exact line or not, it's the fact that I put myself in a position to be unprotected by my tribe."