TMZ's Van Lathan Talks Losing 'All Respect' For Kanye West Before Viral Confrontation
“The first thing I’m gonna get into is, you know, why this is such a big deal to me.”
Kanye West enraged a lot of fans when he stated that slavery was "a choice," during his interview with TMZ Live. Despite Kanye's controversial comments, media personality Van Lathan stole the show when he checked the Chicago rapper on the live stream. In a recent episode of Lathan's podcast, The Red Pill Podcast, (published on May 1, before the live interview) he elaborated on his issues with the new Kanye.
According to Lathan, his deep connection and emotionally-driven reaction to Kanye's recent stunts on social media stems from being a true fan of the rapper's craft. He first became a fan of Ye when he dropped his debut album The College Dropout because of the record's underlying message.
"When I was coming out of college, it was like 2003, 2004, I felt like I didn't know what was up with the world," he stated. "I felt like I was going to different places and seeing people who I had graduated with, and they were selling cars. They were working at restaurants. They were doing a lot of jobs that were dope, but a lot of the promise and a lot of things that we had talked about in school, they weren't able to get into them."
Lathan suggested Kanye's album offered some direction in an otherwise chaotic world. "When I had first heard The College Dropout, I heard someone who was lamenting people that seemed to be okay with people taking the road most travelled," he added. "The whole point of The College Dropout was a dude who was bravely challenging himself to embrace his destiny and to got out and do what everyone thought he couldn't do...This is a mantra. This is a rallying cry... That's what hip-hop does."
Like many, what enrages Lathan about Kanye's newfound "free thought," is not necessarily that he is ranting or speaking up, but that he is blindly endorsing someone who's entire campaign and presidency has been driven by racism and bigotry. "He's endorsing the process, but not the product. To me, there's a better way to do that," Lathan said in reference to Kanye's support of Trump.
"You can endorse somebody that goes against the grain, but what they're saying matters. What they're putting out into the world matters. And for us to pretend like it doesn't matter what someone is saying, as long as their brave enough to say it, is f**king [ridiculous]. I've never heard something that stupid before."
While it may have looked like Lathan had gotten through to Kanye during the TMZ Live debacle, the rapper later took to Twitter, where he griped about the media and fans' harsh criticism.
Hear Lathan's thoughts on his "Wake Up Mr. West"/"Kanye West Emergency Episode," featuring Charlamagne Tha God below.