Kanye West just got into a heated exchange with TMZ’s Van Lathan, who called him out for some comments he made about slavery. It happened on Tuesday (May 1) when he stopped by the the gossip site’s office and said that slavery was a choice.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … That sounds like a choice,” said Kanye. “Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word “prison,” because slavery goes too direct to the idea of Blacks. It’s like slavery, Holocaust, Holocaust, Jews. Slavery is Blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race … the human race.”
After his remarks, Kanye then asked the TMZ staffers if they thought he was thinking freely, and that’s when Van chimed in and blasted him.
“I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything,” he snapped back. “I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought … 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 the 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 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice,” added Van.
Then like many others have in the past week, Van said Kanye is simply out of touch and dislikes who he’s turned into.
“Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled,” he stated. “And brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.”
From there, Kanye walked over to Van’s desk, who told him that he needs to be more responsible with his words. Ye then apologized for hurting him.
Neither Van or the Chicago rapper have talked about the exchange, and it’s likely that more of it will hit the Internet in the coming days.