Kanye West says he's thought about killing himself, but now feels a responsibility to make a meaningful contribution to pop culture and art.
The 33-year-old rapper didn't say when he'd considered suicide.
He told an audience at a screening of his new film Runaway in LA that although there had been times when he "contemplated suicide" he would "not give up on life again".
The star went on to describe himself as a pop icon and "soldier for culture".
He said there were so many people who would never have their voices heard, that he'd "do it for them".
The singer is credited as a director for the 35-minute film, which features portions of nine new Kanye West songs.
The movie is set to premiere this weekend on American cable channels and will accompany his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy released on 22 November.
Rapper Nicki Minaj narrates the film while Elton John, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Fergie and John Legend all appear on the soundtrack.
In the audience for the screening were stars including Morgan Spurlock, Cruel Intentions actor Ryan Phillippe and Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy.
He's hinted at the subject of suicide before in recent song Power, which includes the repeated lines, "Now this would be a beautiful death - I'm jumping out the window, I'm letting everything go."
That song's remix is among 10 tracks that Kanye West has released for free in recent weeks through his website, which he called G.O.O.D. Fridays.
He said that after Fantasy, recorded in Hawaii with the likes of Q-Tip, DJ Premier, RZA and Pete Rock, he will release an album of songs with Jay-Z and another with Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams under the name Child Rebel Soldiers.
Kanye West, 33, told the all-star audience that after a hard year he'd found his "creative sweet spot by thinking like a five-year-old at all times".