Sitting down with TMZ's Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere, the 40-year-old rapper explained his love for US President Donald Trump before dropping a bomb on viewers and TMZ employees alike.
— Alazar Moges (@zarzarbinkss) May 1, 2018
Speaking on race in the United States, West said, "when you hear about slavery for 400 years… 400 years? That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and there's all of y'all?"
"It's like we're mentally imprisoned," he added. "I like the word ‘prison' because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. It's like slavery, Holocaust. Holocaust, Jews. Slavery is blacks. So, prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. We're the human race."
In another clip released by TMZ, West asks fellow employees in the room: "Do you feel that I'm feeling… do you feel that I'm being free and I'm thinking free?"
— Angie Martinez (@angiemartinez) May 1, 2018
Seconds after West poses his question, TMZ staffer Van Lathan calls out the rapper and tells him that he is really just showing an "absence of thought."
"I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought, and the reason why I feel like that is because, Kanye, you're entitled to your opinion," Lathan told West. "You're entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real world, real life consequence behind everything you just 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."
Stressing how disappointed he was in the musician, Lathan went on to add that he was "unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that is not real."
The edited version of the clip cuts to West later walking toward Lathan and repeatedly apologizing for hurting him.
The twitterverse has since responded to the incident and dragged West for his comments.
— Carlos (@bIazingxmexican) May 1, 2018
— Margie (@mderenzis) May 1, 2018
West's TMZ appearance comes days after he went on a Twitter rampage on April 25 and confessed his "bromance" with Trump.