"I want to have kids," he tells PEOPLE. "But I want to have the right girl too – someone who really cares about me."
Still, the savvy hip-hop star is no easy prey. "When I'm in a club, girls are super-calculating, planning every step," he says.
West – speaking exactly a year and a day since the sudden death of his mother, Donda – said making his new album, 808's and Heartbreak, helped him deal with his sense of isolation. (It was a rough year for West. In addition to losing his mother, he also split with his fiancée, Alexis Phifer.)
"It's lonely at the top," he told reporters Tuesday at a London listening party for the new album. "Losing my mom, having no woman in my life to support me – I feel like I'm on my own and can only express it through my music."
And while admitting he was "depressed, down," West said several celebrities have helped him bounce back.
"I ran into Beyoncé Knowles , Paul McCartney, [at the MTV Europe Music Awards and] I felt comfortable," he said. "Rejuvenated."
In Memory of MomOne year after his mother's passing, West, 31, told PEOPLE that he's been profoundly changed by her death (due to complications following cosmetic surgery). "She influenced me to do exactly what I want to do," he explained. "With my mom's passing, I learned that ... you can't let people box you in. You gotta do what you want to do."
It's a subject that, for a long time, was too sensitive to discuss. "I didn't do any interviews after my mom passed, I wasn't ready to speak about [it]," he said. "Now I'd rather talk it through than commit suicide. I'm super devastated."
Cruelly, the rapper blames himself – or more specifically, his fame – for her death. "I feel like I moved to California, then my mom moved to California, and she did stuff she wouldn't have done if we'd stayed in Chicago," he said. "If I'd never made it in the music business, it never would've happened."
And fame has brought complications to his own life. "I'm an alien. The only place I can be alone is my hotel room – I can't even go to the grocery store," West added. "But don't feel sorry for me – I just did a shoot for Louis Vuitton. Don't worry about me, I'll be okay in the end."
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