Newstalk
Newstalk

10.57 2 May 2018


Share this article


US rapper Kanye West has sparked a backlash after suggesting slavery is 'a choice'.

The latest controversy follows a series of widely-shared tweets from West in which he expressed his support for Donald Trump.

He has also faced criticism from both sides of the political spectrum following his praise of right-wing commentator Candace Owens and Parkland shooting survivor turned gun control advocate Emma González.

Speaking at the offices of celebrity news site TMZ yesterday, West claimed: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years... for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.

"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.

He added: "It's like slavery, holocaust. Holocaust - Jews, slavery is blacks. Prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race."

When asked to explain his comments, West suggested: "Yeah, right now we're choosing to be enslaved."

"I'm disappointed, I'm appalled"

The comments provoked an immediate response from TMZ reporter Van Lathan.

He told West: "I don't think you're thinking anything. I think what you're doing 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-life, real-world consequences behind everything you just said."

He added: "[The rest of us in society] have to deal with the marginalisation that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice. Frankly, I'm disappointed, I'm appalled, and brother I am unbelievably hurt that you have morphed into something that, for me, is not real."

Facing a widespread backlash following his comments, West took to Twitter to defend his remarks:

During the TMZ interview, the 40-year-old rapper also commented on other aspects of his personal life.

West, who was hospitalised in 2016 after a series of cancelled concerts and public rants, said that he became addicted to opioids after being prescribed painkillers following  liposuction operation.

West has broken a lengthy social media silence ahead of the release of two new albums next month.


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

Up next

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

07:00-08:00

Share

BEST OF BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BEST OF BREAKFAST BUSINESS

08:00-08:30

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

08:30-09:30

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

09:30-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS

DOWN TO BUSINESS

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-18:00

Share

THE PICTURE SHOW

THE PICTURE SHOW

18:00-19:00

Share

TED RADIO HOUR

TED RADIO HOUR

19:00-20:00

Share

The Peter Casey Report

The Peter Casey Report

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

22:00-22:30

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

22:30-23:30

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

23:30-00:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

00:00-00:15

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:15-07:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on