Chicago hip-hop icon and G.O.O.D. Music pioneer Kanye West has bravely returned to interview grounds after a tumultuous, TMZ-sensational May that kept him stapled to headlines for several heavy controversies, namely his comments on slavery.
The contempt for his remark on live TMZ television was not lost on Yeezy. In a new interview with New York Times, however, he believes his error can be found in the language he used, not the idea itself that he intended to communicate.
In the feature story titled “Into the Wild With Kanye West,” he explains his new address to the controversial remarks.
“I said the idea of sitting in something for 400 years sounds—sounds—like a choice to me, I never said it’s a choice,” he elaborated. “I never said slavery itself—like being shackled in chains—was a choice,” he said.
The ye rapper explained that his course of ideas just took off from there, hence why he then pointed out enslavement of 400 years, and then switched to mental imprisonment, and so forth. “If you look at the clip,” he added, “you see the way my minds works.”
According to Kanye, that interview was the casket opening up during a home going service, and his previous interview with The Breakfast Club host Charlamange Tha God was the more “beautiful,” appealing part of the funeral. When asked whether he does believe slavery in America was a choice, his response was less than direct: “Well, I never said that.”
Given the opportunity to relive that moment and possibly reframe his choce of words, Kanye clarified that he wouldn’t “frame a one-liner or a headline,” however. He actually felt as if he was being ridiculed for a crime that he never committed, which he eventually likened the situation to.
“What I would say is actually it’s literally like I feel like I’m in court having to justify a robbery that I didn’t actually commit, where I’m having to somehow reframe something that I never said,” he said. “I feel stupid to have to say out loud that I know that being put on the boat was — but also I’m not backing down, bro. What I will do is I’ll take responsibility for the fact that I allowed my voice to be used back to back in ways that were not protective of it when my voice means too much.”
Read all of what Kanye had to say in his full New York Times interview here.
(Photo: Edward Berthelot/GC Images)