Neilson Barnard/MTV1617
Sydney Scott
May, 01, 2018

Kanye West believes that the 400-year institution of slavery was a "choice."

On Tuesday, the rapper stopped by TMZ Live to discuss his recent tweets and support for Donald Trump. However, it was West's comments about slavery that went viral. 

"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 you all?"

West went on to say that people are "mentally imprisoned," adding, "I like the word 'imprisoned' because slavery goes too directly to the idea of blacks ... so prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. That we're the human race."

The rapper also doubled down on his feelings about Trump, who he recently said contained "dragon energy."

"I just love Trump. That's my boy," he said. "So many rappers [used to] love Trump, but then he get into office, and now they don't love him. Trump is one of rap's favorite people."

In a 2016 rant during his Saint Pablo tour, West said he would have voted for Trump. Trump has shared his appreciation for West's comments, taking to Twitter to thank the rapper for his "great service to the Black Community."

At a rally in April, Trump also added, "In all fairness, Kanye West gets it. He gets it. ... When he sees that African-American unemployment is the lowest in history — you know, people are watching. That's a very important thing he's done for his legacy."

However, there was one voice of reason in the TMZ office. Van Lathan, host of The Red Pill Podcast, called out West for his harmful rhetoric. 

"Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real life consequence behind everything that you just said,” Lathan told the rapper. "While you are making music and being an artist, and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives."

Lathan continued, "We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from 400 years of 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’s not real."