Back in May, Kanye made headlines the world over when he remarked, during an interview with TMZ: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison.”
In the weeks that followed, Kanye repeatedly addressed the backlash, including in a hastily-added lyric on his latest album, but he’s now apologised to the fans who he “let down” with his comments.
Kanye West being Kanye West, though, it wasn’t as simple as a straight apology.
Speaking to WGCI 107.5 in his hometown of Chicago, Kanye clarified: “I said [slavery] sounds like a choice to me. It sounds like a choice to the spirit of Kanye West, which I think is a aligned with the spirit of Harriet Tubman, which is aligned with the spirit of Nat Turner.”
The apology is coming, we promise.
“In my non-historical opinion,” he continued. “I feel these are examples from the past from people who felt similar to that. Even if it was worded incorrectly in the white man’s tongue, maybe I could have danced, or spoken in Swahili, the actual language.
“Even the fact we’re having to have this conversation in English is a form of slavery because that’s not even our language, bro.”
Reflecting on the controversy, which followed his divisive tweets in favour of US President Donald Trump, Kanye then noted: “I don’t know if I properly apologised for how that slave comment made people feel, and I want to take this moment to say I’m sorry for hurting, I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for the people who felt let down.”
However, he couldn’t resist adding: “The thing I get from the TMZ comment is I get how much black people love me.”
This is the second time in a week that Kanye has spoken on this subject, explaining what he meant during a recent interview with the New York Times.