Los Angeles: Rapper Kanye West says the slavery culture for many centuries may have been a "choice". After his comment created a stir, he took to Twitter to explain his point, saying he meant that people "were mentally enslaved".
In an interview with TMZ, the rapper, who has been tweeting out support for US president Donald Trump in recent weeks, was talking about the President, free thinking and labels before he moved onto slavery, reports theguardian.com.
"When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it's all of you all.
"It is like we were mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we're the human race," he said.
Kanye then proceeded to talk directly to the entire office before a reporter Van Lathan shot back at him for his comments. "I actually don't think you're thinking anything," he said.
Kanye's comments were met by anger on social media. The rapper also ranted out his frustration on Twitter.
"To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will. My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved," Kanye tweeted.
"They cut out our tongues so we couldn't communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut... We are programmed to always talk and fight race issues. We need to update our conversation.
"The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can't be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea. Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas," the rapper continued.