Kanye West on slavery: “For 400 years? That sounds like a choice”

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Kanye West continues to whip up a storm controversy.

During an interview in the TMZ newsroom, he suggested the 400 year enslavement black Africans in America was “a choice”.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years – for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said, adding: “We’re mentally imprisoned.”

West questioned the room “Do you feel that I’m thinking free?”, leading to TMZ employee Van Lathan confronting West over the comment.

Lathan said: “I think what you’re doing now is the absence thought.

“Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said.

“While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest 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 slavery that you said for our people was a choice.

“Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me that isn’t real.”

Watch footage below.

Kanye has since defend himself on Twitter, writing: “Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will”. He also labelled the interview as “awesome”.

Beyond the TMZ newsroom, Kanye’s comments have been criticised by many public figures on Twitter.

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag’s Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter