During one of his many recent interviews, rap star Kanye West attempted to use the departure of Arsenio Hall from late night television as an example of what happens when a celebrity is too outspoken.
“I can use my voice but what happens if you don’t buy no other albums?” West told The Breakfast Club in New York City last month. “Then they can say he was like Arsenio Hall and he was turning up too much and he got fired. But when you got money, nobody can fire you.”
However, Hall addressed the audience at this year’s Grammy nomination concert and dismissed Kanye’s accusation that racism or speaking out caused “The Arsenio Hall Show” to be canceled in 1994.
“Like usual Kanye’s premise confuses the facts, therefore everything has to be thrown out,” says Hall. “At the end of the day he’s a musician and I’m a comedian. We’re not doctors. Nobody works for Johns Hopkins…and I think we take ourselves a little too serious. But that’s something that will straighten itself out with maturity. Because the bottom line is this ‘they gonna do me like Arsenio..’ Yo man, stop makin’ me look like I’m Nat Turner or something. I know what you heard in the barbershop but I just left my show. The white man didn’t do something this time, bruh. Save that for when the white man does do something. Don’t muddy the waters of racism with my bull***. It wasn’t racism, it was not a plot. I just left my show… I don’t like to be put in those conversations. Because there is no struggle here. My struggle was in the ghetto of Cleveland. There is no struggle now.”
He went on to chastise West and anyone who uses the word “slave” in pop culture as being disrespectful to the struggle they endured.
“I hate the word ‘slave’ used in songs,” Hall said in the press conference clip. “The [expletive] outta here. Do you know what that word is? Do you know what that word is all about? Nobody can use ‘slave’ in pop culture. If you’re in the music business, you shouldn’t [expletive] with that word. Too serious an era. Too serious a problem in America. There is no one that’s free to move around this country that should use the word ‘slave.’ Do you know what it meant to slaves?”
Watch the full clip below: