Kanye West attempts to clarify his recent controversial comments about slavery and Donald Trump – attempts being the operative word here – in a lengthy New York Times interview today.
First, those slavery comments, in which he had told TMZ that 400 years of slavery sounded more to him like some sort of choice on the part of the enslaved.
His attempt to explain today: “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. I never said slavery itself — like being shackled in chains — was a choice. That’s why I went from slave to 400 years to mental prison to this and that. If you look at the clip you see the way my mind works.”
“I learned so much. I learned about the context of the idea of the word slave. I didn’t take it in that context. I think that my personality and energy mirrors Nat Turner, or it had in the past, but that showed me that also that Nat Turner approach would land me in the same place Nat Turner landed, and that I would be legendary but also just a martyr. But I guess we’re all martyrs eventually, and we’re all guaranteed to die.”
And about those Trump-supporting comments, including the Charlie Sheen-like reference that Kanye and Trump share “dragon energy,” the “Ye” composer says: “There were people who said Trump would never win. I’m talking about the it-will-never-happens of the world, people in high school told you things would never happen.”
“I felt that I knew people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they liked him. But they told me, and I liked him, and I’m not scared to say what I like. Let me come over here and get in this fight with you.”
The aftermath of this pro-Trump comments were brutal, Kanye says.
“Man, I had my [expletive] [expletive] castrated: ‘You have to like Hillary. That’s got to be your choice.’…because you’re black, because you make very sensitive music, because you’re a very sensitive soul, it was like an arranged marriage or something. And I’m like, that’s not who I want to marry. I don’t feel that. I believe that I’m actually a better father because I got my [expletive] voice back, I’m a better artist because I got my voice back. I was living inside of some universe that was created by the mob-thought, and I had lost who I was, so that’s when I was in the sunken place. You look in my eyes right now — you see no sunken place.”
“I hear Trump talk and I’m like, I like the way it sounds, knowing that there’s people who like me that don’t like the way it sounds.”
Kanye was asked by the Times: “But if he says something like he doesn’t want to let Muslims into the country, do you like the way that sounds?”
Said Kanye: “No, I don’t agree with all of his policies.”
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