Will.i.am has led the criticism of Kanye West’s controversial comments on the history of African-American slavery.
West, who decided to visit to TMZ Live for a 105-minute interview, touched on a number of topics but predominantly spent most of his time talking about Donald Trump and what a big fan he is of the president before bizarrely suggesting slavery was “a choice” in the eyebrow raising new interview.
The rapper then said the following on the topic of slavery: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years… For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” Kanye remarked. “You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”
Now, addressing the controversy during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Will.i.am said: “That broke my heart.
“I thought about my grandma, who was born in 1920, and her connection to her mom, who was born in the late 1800s, and my grandmother’s grandma, who was a slave.”
Kanye West stirs up the TMZ newsroom over TRUMP, SLAVERY and FREE THOUGHT. There's A LOT more that went down … and the fireworks are exploding on @TMZLive today. Check your local listings for show times. pic.twitter.com/jwVsJCMPiq
— TMZ (@TMZ) May 1, 2018
“When you’re a slave, you’re owned. You don’t chose to be owned. When you’re a slave, you’re deprived of education — that’s not choice, that’s by force,” Will.i.am added. “I understand the need to have free thought, but if your thoughts aren’t researched, that’s just going to hurt those who are still in conditions where it’s not their choice that when they go down the street, there’s a liquor store and fast food restaurants, and your education is not being funded the same way it is in Calabasas, when government is stifling the amount of money that goes to Chicago, Watts, the Bronx, 5th Ward Mississippi, or East Los Angeles.
“If the zoning added it up to the point where kids are getting a proper investment for their education, I wouldn’t have to raise money for robotics programs, college preparation programs.
“That statement was one of the most ignorant statements that anybody who came from the hood can say about their ancestors,” he added.