Kanye West on Tuesday raised some eyebrows at the TMZ newsroom, and upset at least employee, when he suggested slavery was a “choice.” In clip from the rapper’s visit to TMZ Live, West touched on a number of topics, but spent a chunk of time talking about Donald Trump and what a big fan he is of the president.
“I just love Trump. That’s my boy,” West declared at one point in the visit. “So many rappers [used to] love Trump, but then he get into office, and now they don’t love him. Trump is one of rap’s favorite people.”
At another point in his visit, while talking with Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere, West made a comment in which he suggested that slavery was a “choice.”
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said with a chuckle. “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all you all?”He immediately went into, “It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned. I like the word ‘imprisoned’ because slavery goes too directly to the idea of blacks … so prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. That we’re the human race.”
The TMZ interview follows a series of controversial tweets the rapper sent last week in which he called President Trump his “brother” and said that they both possessed “dragon energy.” The rapper has doubled down on his comments multiple times on Twitter since, and has been posting reactions to his tweets from friends including John Legend.
In a different section of the Tuesday show, West addressed the entire newsroom, asking all “Do you feel that I am being free and I am thinking free?” A TMZ employee responded that he was hurt by West’s comments about slavery and warned of the weight that the rapper’s words carry with the public. The clip cuts out as West is telling the staffer he is sorry he hurt him.
The Trump campaign has capitalized on his comments, using West’s support in the advertising copy for “Make America Great Again” hats.
Watch the clips below:
we got love. Doing TMZ live with Harvey and Candace Owens pic.twitter.com/yoZdHwpdis
we are programmed to always talk and fight race issues. We need to update our conversation.
— ye (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
This article was originally published on The Hollywood Reporter.