Kanye West has learned a lot from his recent controversies, but that doesn’t mean he’s backing down from his opinions.
During a revealing new interview with the New York Times, the 41-year-old rapper opened up about the massive backlash following his TMZ Live interview in May, when he implied that slavery was a “choice.”
“I learned so much. I learned about the context of the idea of the word slave. I didn’t take it in that context,” West told the newspaper, before insisting that he “never” actually said that slavery was “a choice.”
“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. I never said slavery itself — like being shackled in chains — was a choice,” he explained.
While the Ye rapper went on to say if he could go back in time he wouldn’t have framed his comment as “a one-liner or a headline,” he doesn’t want to back down from what he meant to say.
“I feel stupid to have to say out loud that I know that being put on the boat was — but also I’m not backing down, bro,” he added.
“I felt that I knew people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they liked him. But they told me, and I liked him, and I’m not scared to say what I like,” he said. “Let me come over here and get in this fight with you.”
While West has previously confirmed he does not agree with “everything Trump does” — a sentiment which he shared once again during the interview — he doesn’t think that means he can’t still support the commander-in-chief.
Describing a conversation he had with his father, West said, “I expressed the example that I have a cousin that’s locked up for doing something bad, and I still love him, so I don’t base my love for a person on if they’re doing something good or bad.”
“I believe that I’m actually a better father because I got my [expletive] voice back, I’m a better artist because I got my voice back. I was living inside of some universe that was created by the mob-thought, and I had lost who I was, so that’s when I was in the sunken place. You look in my eyes right now — you see no sunken place,” he added.
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While discussing some of the lyrics from his most recent solo album, West confirmed that when he rapped about contemplating suicide on opening track “I Thought About Killing You,” he was being sincere.
“Oh yeah, I’ve thought about killing myself all the time. It’s always an option and [expletive]. Like Louis C.K. said: I flip through the manual. I weigh all the options,” he said, referencing the comedian who has accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women earlier this year.
“I didn’t do it, but I did think it all the way through,” he added later. “But if I didn’t think it all the way through, then it’s actually maybe more of a chance of it happening.”
He also spoke about comments he made on the album about his wife Kim Kardashian West leaving him following his infamous slavery comments.
“There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low,” he said. “I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?'”
“That was a real conversation,” he added.
Despite the difficult times the couple have been through, when they celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary, West shared a sweet tribute to his wife, writing, “Gratitude and happiness best describe what my wife means to me. I’m deeply grateful and purely happy 😊.”
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star also shared her admiration for her husband while sharing a never-before-seen photo from their wedding.
“4 years down and forever to go…” she captioned the post. “Thank you babe for giving me our family and caring so much about us. Thank you for inspiring me on a daily, I’m so lucky. I can’t wait for forever… Happy Anniversary.”