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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Kanye West on slavery: 'For 400 years, that sounds like choice'

Rapper sparks fresh outrage in interview with TMZ

Kanye West sparked outrage after he described called American slavery 'a choice'. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP File
Kanye West sparked outrage after he described called American slavery 'a choice'. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP File

Rapper Kanye West sparked fresh outrage on Tuesday when he called slavery "a choice".

The rapper, never shy about expressing himself, made the comments in passing during one of two free-flowing interviews he gave as he promotes two upcoming albums.

"When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice," West said on TMZ Live after questions on his pro-President Donald Trump posts and pictures that caused a dust-up last week. "You was there for 400 years, and it's all of y'all?"

"Do you feel like I'm thinking free and feeling free?" West asked the TMZ employees in the room.

"I actually don't think you're thinking anything," TMZ's Van Lathan quickly cracked back at West, as many would in the ensuing hours.

Lathan said while West gets to live the elite artist's life, "the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats in our lives. We have to deal with the marginalisation that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was our choice."

Symone D Sanders, political commentator and CNN contributor, led the anti-West chorus on Twitter:

Others put it more briefly:

West also told TMZ that he became addicted to opioids that doctors prescribed after he had liposuction surgery in 2016.

He was hospitalised for a week and had to cut short his Pablo tour. West said the painkillers drove him to a "breakdown," which became a "breakthrough" when he found himself again.

West also affirmed his love of the US president, which Mr Trump has been returning in tweets.

"I just love Trump," West said, adding that most in hip-hop agreed with him before Mr Trump became president. "Trump is one of rap's favourite people."