Kanye West has been criticized extensively since he appeared on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and made an awkward pro-Trump speech after the broadcast ended. The next day, Kanye shared a photo of his Make America Great Again hat and said that it represents “good and America becoming whole again.” He also said “we will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment.”
Kanye followed that statement up with a tweet that read: “the 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended We are the solution that heals.” Soon after, he attempted to clarify his comments to TMZ on camera outside a diner in West Hollywood. During that encounter, Kanye said that he would explain fully the next day when he planned to visit TMZ.
not abolish but. let’s amend the 13th amendment
We apply everyone’s opinions to our platform
— ye (@kanyewest) September 30, 2018
Today, Kanye returned to TMZ to discuss the controversy. The last time he visited TMZ, Kanye suggested that slavery was “a choice.” During today’s interview, he explained that he wanted to use the word “amend” and that the part of the 13th Amendment that he finds objectionable is the clause that allows for prisoners in the US to perform unpaid labor.
“Abolish was the wrong language. I misspoke by saying abolish. Amend is the right language,” he said. “There’s people getting paid eight cent a week working for companies that are privately owned. A lot of them are first time offenders. A lot of them are non-violent crimes. And then also, we’re not dealing with the mental health and the therapy, because I’m gonna say that, I stand on the majority of people that are in prison are there do to a reaction to a situation that they are in.”
Kanye also reaffirmed that he is considering running for president in 2024, as he told Chicago’s Power 92 back in August — as opposed to the 2020 race, which would put him up against his pal Donald Trump. “I was telling my dad that I was running for office in 2024. He was like, ‘It’s gonna cost a lot of money,’ I said, ‘Dad we’re going to have all the money in the world soon as I run,’” Kanye said. “One of the things I’m going to do when I run is not give answers off the cuff. I’m gonna talk to experts.”
He asserted that we shouldn’t “give up on” Trump and should instead offer him our “love”: “For someone to grow, they need to know that they got love. That someone loves, and that someone is leading with love, or that a group of people is leading with love. There’s no way to start a dialogue with ‘Fuck you.’”
The rapper later commented on the delay of his much-anticipated forthcoming album Yandhi, which was scheduled to come out this past Saturday. Kanye told TMZ’s Harvey Levin that he “didn’t finish” the album in time and his management suggested he postpone the release. “We’re going to bring out the album on what is known as Black Friday, November 23,” he confirmed.
“I started incorporating sounds that you’ve never heard before, pushing, and having concepts that people don’t talk about. We have concepts talking about body shaming, women being looked down upon for how many people they’ve slept with,” he explains. “It’s just a full Ye album. Those 5 albums that I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation. Now the alien Ye is fully back in mode, off of medication, working out, breathing as much fresh air as possible, thinking, doing, being hisself.”
Kanye mentioned he’ll be going to Africa in two weeks to record Yandhi: “I felt this energy when I was in Chicago, I felt the roots. But we have to go to what is known as Africa. I need to go, I need to find out what it’s really called. Just grab the soil and be and cook food — five meals a day so the metabolism stays up — have my kids in the studio, have the mic out in the open so you can hear nature while we’re recording.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he spoke about organizing a meeting between Colin Kaepernick and Donald Trump. Kaepernick started last year’s wave of NFL players kneeling in protest against police brutality during the national anthem. Trump condemned these players for taking a knee at a rally in Alabama: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.'” Kanye addressed this today during the interview: “I’ve been calling Colin this morning, reaching him, so I can bring Colin to the White House and we can remove that ‘son’s of bitches’ statement. We can be on the same page.”
Over the weekend, Kanye was the musical guest on SNL. He donned a red MAGA hat and gave a pro-Trump speech to the audience after the episode. During his rant, he claimed that SNL “bullied” him and told him not to wear the hat. But in today’s interview, Kanye clarified that it was actually his own team who did the “bullying”: “The bullying came from people around me in my circle telling me why I shouldn’t be wearing the hat. It put my energy in more of a reactionary place. A lot of times when people bully you, you get reactionary.” He went on, “Now, Lorne has promised me to host this year. I do feel a bit slighted that I have not hosted SNL because it’s going to be lit! When we did the Lil Pump thing, I feel that I’m missing my calling a little bit. I’m so funny!”
Watch the full interview below.