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In an in-depth interview with The New York Times published Monday, Kanye West opened up about a number of topics, including his support of Donald Trump and his wildly controversial comment months ago concerning slavery being “a choice.”
Of the comment made while he visited TMZ in Los Angeles (“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice”), West said his intentions were misunderstood, which he told The Times was “awesome.”
“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,” West told the newspaper from a rented Wyoming home where he is currently working on new music. “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.”
He also compared himself to Nat Turner, the slave who led a rebellion in 1831.
“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,” he said. “But I guess we’re all martyrs eventually, and we’re all guaranteed to die.”
When pressed if he really believed slavery was a choice, West responded, “Well, I never said that.”
West made other headlines around the same time as the slavery comment when, in a Twitter-storm, he went out of his way to say he was an avid Trump supporter, even sharing a MAGA hat signed to him from Trump.
In the interview with The Times, he said nothing had changed.
“I felt that I knew people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they liked him,” West said in the interview. “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.” He added, “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.”
West did clarify that he did not agree with all of Trump’s policies, when asked what he thinks “if [Trump] says something like he doesn’t want to let Muslims into the country.”
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