The eventful month of Kanye West continued Tuesday with the release of an extensive sit-down interview, which was immediately followed by the rapper invading the TMZ offices and calling slavery “a choice.”
On TMZ Live, West defended his support of the president and “Make America Great Again,” saying he loves his “boy” Trump. He then transitioned to the discussion of race, stating, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and there’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.” (It should be noted that slavery lasted 246 years, not 400.)
This caused Van Lathan, a TMZ employee, to voice his disapproval for West’s “absence of thought,” calling the rapper’s opinions “hurtful and shocking.” Those on social media agreed with Lathan.
After receiving a great deal of backlash, Kanye then turned to Twitter to clarify his comments about slavery, saying:
Earlier in the day, West took a break from tweeting and sending texts — that he will subsequently tweet — to talk with Charlamagne Tha God about his mental breakdown (or “breakthrough,” as he called it), his support of Trump, and his rocky relationships with Jay-Z and President Obama.
Taped April 18, shortly after he returned to Twitter, West spoke from his home (a.k.a. not the sunken place) where Charlamagne asked West about the current standing of his relationship with his idol Jay-Z, referencing Hov’s call out of West on 4:44. “We good. We texting each other, it’s positive energy,” said West. “I haven’t seen him, but I can feel him.”
Charlamagne then posited to West that he might have gone too far in mentioning his Watch the Throne collaborator’s family during an onstage rant. “It depends on how you look at it,” explained West. “If we’re family, if we’re brothers, if we are family, then it’s my family. If we’re business associates and this, then it was too far. Respectfully… I gotta say, I was hurt about them not coming to [my] wedding. I understand they was going through some things, but if it’s family, you’re not gonna miss a wedding.”
Later in the discussion, West shared his feelings about President Obama. While having some nice things to say about the “Jackie Robinson of politics,” West was clearly hurt both by Obama calling him a “jackass” and lavishing praise on other rappers. “I’m not safe, but that’s why you love me,” declared West. “He had so much stuff to deal with that he couldn’t deal with a wildcard like me.”
Kanye is set to release two albums this June: a solo effort on 6/1, and a duet with Kid Cudi on 6/8. Last week, the 40-year-old rapper dropped two new underwhelming singles, “Lift Yourself” and “Ye vs. the People.”