Unless you’ve successfully blocked it from your memory, you probably remember that time earlier this year when Kanye West, in the throes of an already controversial tweetstorm, showed up at the TMZ offices to claim in a live webcast that slavery “sounds like a choice.” Shortly after, West included a line about the controversy and wife Kim Kardashian West’s reaction to it in his song “Wouldn’t Leave”: “I said, ‘Slavery a choice’—they said, ‘How, Ye?’ / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day / Now I’m on 50 blogs gettin’ 50 calls / My wife callin’, screamin’, say we ’bout to lose it all / Had to calm her down ’cause she couldn’t breathe.”
Now, in the next episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kardashian West is telling her side of the story. In a now-deleted preview of the episode, which was filmed only days after West’s outburst, Kardashian West tells Jonathan Cheban that her husband is “doing good” despite the general public consensus that he’s in the midst of “a breakdown, then describes her initial reaction. “I rushed home, I was hysterically crying. So I go home—he’s totally fine,” she says.
She goes on to explain how West’s mind works when he’s eliciting headline-making remarks: “When he gets ramped up, he can’t control what he says, he can’t let it go,” she says. “He loves being ramped up. He’s like, ‘I feel powerful when I’m ramped up. I don’t want to be so suppressed. Yeah, I say crazy shit, but I’ve always said crazy shit. That’s why I’m Kanye.'”
Part of just being Kanye, it seems, is saying things but not actually meaning them, since, as Kardashian West claims, when Kanye said, “You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” he didn’t actually mean that. “I always know what Kanye’s intentions are and what he’s trying to say, but I also know that they’re gonna write a headline and people are gonna assume that that’s exactly what you said and what you meant,” she says in the clip. “Kanye’s slavery comment? He never said that. That was just the headline. If you listen to what he said, he said, ‘Slavery was 400 years? If it’s gonna be another 400 years, that sounds like a choice to me.’ He didn’t say slavery is a choice, he was saying if you’re gonna still be enslaved for another 400 years then that’s some bullshit.”
For the record, West did say that slavery “sounds like a choice,” and said nothing about 400 more years of enslavement. If you’re so inclined, refresh your memory of what West did actually say in that video, here.