Kanye West, continuing his controversy tour 2018, spoke Tuesday to TMZ Live about slavery, free thought and his love for President Trump.
On the first topic, he said slavery "sounds like a choice."
He added, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... like, you was there for 400 years and it's all of y'all?! It's like we're mentally in prison."
After that comment, TMZ's Van Lathan interjected.
“I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought," Lathan 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 the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice."
West later took to Twitter to defend himself.
"Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will," he tweeted. "My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved." He added: "They cut our tongues so we couldn't communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut ... they can no longer stop our voice."
to make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
But that wasn't before the rest of Twitter had something to say about West's words.
Jimmy Kimmel called his entire TMZ appearance "wild."
Feminist writer Roxane Gay tweeted, “I don’t have the energy for nonsense but Kanye … is a free moron who doesn’t read.”
I don’t have the energy for nonsense but Kanye saying slavery was a choice reiterates my previous statements about how dangerous his trite, shallow ramblings are. He is not a free thinker. He is a free moron who doesn’t read. Do not @ me.— roxane gay (@rgay) May 1, 2018
“What in the Andy Kaufman is going on here?” asked Questlove, invoking the late comedian with a reputation for being erratic.
What in the Andy Kaufman is going on here? https://t.co/uvpJ37opyR— T'Questlove (@questlove) May 1, 2018
“It all makes sense now,” actor Jon Cryer joked, in response to West’s slavery comments.
It all makes sense now. https://t.co/BfIDjKoFR2— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) May 1, 2018
Journalist Phili Mwaniki tweeted in support of Lathan: “Years from now,” people will ask, "Where were you when this dude shut Kanye up?”
Years from now, the question will be; where were you when this dude shut Kanye West up? pic.twitter.com/wTG83siGuz— Philip Mwaniki (@Mwanikih) May 1, 2018
Writer Oliver Willis joked his “congratulations” to new Fox News hire Kanye.
Congratulations to new Fox News hire Kanye— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 1, 2018
Mat Johnson likened West to Samuel L Jackson’s character Stephen from Django Unchained, a twisted slave who sees himself as above other people of color.
Want to feel old? This is Kanye West now. pic.twitter.com/BWRBm1ld5p— Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) May 1, 2018
Filmmaker Matthew Cherry thanked Lathan for stepping in.