Kanye West scrapped an entire album after his ill-advised TMZ interview, during which he suggested African-Americans chose to be slaves and confessed he was hooked on opioids.
The rapper came under fire for stating 400 years of slavery was “a choice”, a comment that led to a live confrontation with a TMZ staffer, who made it clear he didn’t appreciate Kanye’s remarks and was disappointed he made them.
Now, in his first interview since the release of his latest album Ye on Friday (01Jun18), West tells radio personality Big Boy he completely reworked the album after the 1 May (17) controversy.
“I completely re-did the album after TMZ,” he says. “We just sat there and really honed in on the words because now it’s all headlines, it’s like every bar can be used…
“It was just too sensitive. It was about that topic. And I just let go… I feel like, as a son, and as a family member of the world… I feel like the best thing I could do is sit there, and go in that studio, and keep chopping that thing that only I know how to do and only me and my crew know how to do.”
Kanye also tells Big Boy he knows the tracks on Ye won’t be appreciated by all his fans and peers – because they’re so raw and honest, adding, “I was able to find my voice… And this is what happens with a lot of artists – they start off with their voice and then they start having to do so many records for so many different people… and, ‘Is this person going to be happy, and is that person going to be happy?’
“I just had to stand in front of that board every morning and ask myself, ‘Do these songs truly make me happy? Are these songs I want to play back? Does the song make me cry? Does the song take me somewhere?'”
West also explains his “mental condition” helps him tap into tough issues and make the most of his opinions, adding, “Think about people that have mental issues that are not Kanye West, that can’t go and make that, and make it feel like it’s all good. Think about someone who does exactly what I did at TMZ and they just do that at work, right?
“But then (on) Tuesday morning, they come in, and they lost their job… That’s why God put that on me at age 40. I had never been diagnosed until… 39 years old. I think everybody’s got something…. but like I said, on the album… that it’s not a disability… it’s a superpower.”