Rolling Stone reports:
The same day that Kanye West released a reflective two-hour interview with Charlamagne the God, he also visited TMZ for a live interview that appeared to be wildly different. The rapper drew tremendous ire for his flippant comments about the history of American slavery.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years: For 400 years, that sounds like choice,” West said. “You was there for 400 years,” he added, seemingly in disbelief, “And it’s all of y’all?”
The video of West’s visit to TMZ also contained footage from an encounter with one of the outlet’s employees, Van Lathan, in the newsroom. “Do you feel like I’m thinking free and feeling free?” West asked the crowd. Van Lathan, who had a camera on him as he decided to speak, responded sharply, “I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything.”
The Root reports:
Lathan from the TMZ newsroom was quick to call out Kanye on his bull and put him in his place. “I think that what you’re doing right now is the absence of thought. And the reason why I feel like that is because Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said.”
“And while you are making music and being an artist and living a life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice,” Lathan continued. “Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother—I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me that isn’t real.”