Kanye West appears highly emotional as he apologizes for infamous 'slavery' comments
Kanye West faced major backlash in May when he stated that hundreds of years of slavery in the US sounded "like a choice" to him during a controversial interview at the TMZ headquarters.
"When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. It's like we're mentally imprisoned," the 41-year-old rapper said.
His provocative statement spurred public outrage, causing thousands of fans, celebrities and social media users to slam him online and the hashtag #IfSlaveryWasAChoice to go viral. But now, almost four months after the incident, the Gold Digger star has finally publicly apologised for what he said in a new interview.
Speaking to 107.5 WGCI Chicago, West expressed regret and said sorry to everyone who was affected by his outburst.
"What I want say to everyone listening right now - I have never really approached or addressed the slavery comment fully. And it’s not something for me to overly intellectualise," he said. "This is something about the fact that it hurt people’s feelings and the way that I presented that piece of information. I could present in a way more calm way, but I was ramped up. And I apologise."
The rapper appeared highly emotional and struggled to hold back tears as he spoke. He continued slowly, appearing to take care with his choice of words: "That happens sometimes when people are—I’m not blaming mental health, but I’m explaining mental health. I don’t know if I properly apologised for how the slavery comment made people feel. I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment. And I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through."
To finish off, the Yeezy designer added: "I just appreciate you guys holding on to me like a family. One thing that I got from the TMZ comment is how much black people love me."
However, despite finally saying sorry for the incident - having failed to previously when he was given the chance on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel - many fans were not impressed and took to social media to make it clear that they would not be accepting his apology.
While some just flatly refused to forgive the father-of-three, others claimed that it was not genuine, with Twitter user @sanga_mak asking "Does an apology count if the person says, 'Sorry for the way I made you feel but...' Not necessarily acknowledging that they wronged you? I’m listening to the Kanye apology and I’m like, “Hayi keep it."
Fellow user @GreyLava agreed, writing "I will never accept Kanye West's apology about slavery. I know my history and I have too much respect for my ancestors."
Nonetheless, others insisted that the 41-year-old seemed sincere; "Always here to accept apologies. Kanye came from a genuine place it seems so hey I’ll take it," wrote @curlyhairMD.
In the same interview, the Stronger rapper also spoke about whether he believed Donald Trump cared about black people, stating he thought the US president would do what is "necessary" to win their support.
"I feel that [Trump] cares about the way black people feel about him, and he would like for black people to like him like they did when he was cool in the rap songs and all this," he said.
"He will do the things that are necessary to make that happen because he’s got an ego like all the rest of us, and he wants to be the greatest president, and he knows that he can’t be the greatest president without the acceptance of the black community. So it’s something he’s gonna work towards, but we’re gonna have to speak to him."
West returned to his home city of Chicago this week and is reportedly currently working alongside Chance the Rapper on his upcoming album.