The saga of Kanye West’s embrace of Trump’s America rolled on today, quite possibly hitting a new… something during an appearance on TMZ Live, on which he ranted—as in the dictionary definition of the word—for minutes on end about his controversial recent reemergence in the public eye. Here is most of what went down.
In the midst of a long treatise sparked by a question about his wearing of a Make America Great Again hat, Kanye said the following:
When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years? And it’s all y’all?
In one TMZ cut-up of his appearance at the site’s office, which you can see above, Kanye is shown asking the office if they think he is being a free thinker. To answer that, a TMZ employee named Van Lathan, who is black, goes off on the artist, saying that Kanye is actually displaying the “absence of thought” and reminding him that there is “fact and real life consequence behind everything you just said.” To that Kanye says, “I’m sorry I hurt you, bro.” Lathan has become something of a folk hero today for this response, though there may be a lot of context missing given TMZ’s editing.
Kanye has reported previously that he became addicted to opioids recently, and today on TMZ he detailed his experience. He told TMZ’s Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere that he began taking opioids after liposuction surgery that he says he chose to have so that “y’all”—referring to TMZ—wouldn’t call him fat like they did Rob Kardashian before West’s marriage to Kim Kardashian. He went on to say that he was taking as many as seven pills per day after being released from the hospital, and that he was under the influence of opioids when he met with Trump back in December of 2016—”drugged the fuck out, bro” in his words. This section of his appearance was especially twisted in that West’s mother died after complications from liposuction surgery, which Kanye resurfaced recently when he suggested that his album cover would be just a photo of the doctor who performed that surgery on his mother. West also stated that he was driving to work under the influence of opioids, which seemed like a reference to the car crash that nearly killed him in 2002.
TMZ itself clipped and edited at least some of the newsworthy parts of Kanye’s appearance, but he was broadcast unedited speaking at length. Some of that video has trickled out online, and it shows Kanye speaking almost with no break about various topics including: an alleged hit put out on him by the Crips (“They love me. That’s my brother. Like, your brother will beat you up.”); his conversations with conservative person Candace Owens and Hot 97 host and program director Ebro Darden (“Candace just pulls out her Jedi lightsaber and chops Ebro’s head off with facts”); why he loves Trump even though he’s not a political guy (“That’s my boy”); and his reaction to his daughter North being told at school that she is black despite her mom being white.