Charlamagne Tha God surprised the world when he sat down with Kanye West for an in-depth, nearly two-hour-long interview that published on Tuesday. While inside his all-white Calabasas home, Ye opened up about a mental breakdown he now refers to as a "breakthrough," his wife’s robbery in Paris and his current emotional and creative space.
Just hours after their interview was made public, Mr. West stunned many while speaking with TMZ when he boldly stated slavery was a choice, prompting a passionate back-and-forth with TMZ correspondent Van Lathan, and thus offending and disappointing many.
The Power 105.1 host stopped by the Vibe office on a Wednesday to discuss his sit-down with Mr. West and whether or not his “slavery” comments following his one-on-one interview have canceled West forever or he'll be redeemed by his forthcoming music. There were many gems from the Black Privilege author that can be viewed in the nearly 30-minute interview below, but here are the five best takeaways.
1. Kanye’s Album Sounds Like Old ‘Ye
It is old ‘Ye production. He played me “Lift Yourself”] in the studio and I was like, "What the fuck is this?" I couldn’t even hear the words. He said, "That was just the reference," and then he was like, "That is the words." I didn’t even process that one. I think the music is good. I don’t know if it was "slavery was a choice" good, or walking around with a "Make America Great Again" hat good, because now the expectations are way too high. You have to have some fire music if you’re going to be out here supporting Donald Trump and think that black people will still support you. It’s good, it’s really great. It’s got its old chopped soul samples that we like from Ye, Teyana Taylor has some amazing music. Pusha T has some dope music, he played me a lot of dope stuff, but once again, that was on April 18; a lot of things have changed. People don’t just take your music anymore, people remember how you make them feel. Right now Kanye not making people feel good. So if that person is not making you feel good, when you listen to their music you’re not going to receive it as well as you would have if you were judging it from a more positive perspective. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s "slavery was a choice" good or "Make America Great Again" hat good, but it’s really good music.
2. Charlamagne Isn’t Necessarily Disappointed With Where Kanye West Is Now
I wasn’t until everybody else started getting real disappointed, because in my mind, I’m like, "I understand Kanye is one of the top three most influential rappers ever." I think it’s Tupac, JAY-Z and Kanye, just their influence on culture. If you look at all these guys that are out here now, the Drakes, the Kendricks, the Coles, the Big Seans, all of these guys are fruit off of Kanye West’s tree, Chance the Rapper, to me anyway, that’s what I think. So I understand that he has influence as far as culture is concerned, but it’s like when he starts talking politics, it’s almost like that Dave Chappelle joke: Who cares what Ja Rule thinks at a time like this? That’s how I feel. Who cares what Kanye thinks at a time like this? But clearly people care.
3. Having More Black Women in His Life Might Be a Good Reality Check for ‘Ye
I was saying that earlier about if he had a black woman in his life]. Absolutely, because a Shenequa is going to bust him upside his head. It’s funny because I literally just said that in an interview. They asked me something about Kim like, "Does Kim have any say in this? Can Kim take his phone?" It sounds like you're saying Kanye needs a black woman. His aunt, his grandmother or somebody needs to come take his phone and bust him upside his head and say, "Sit down somewhere." That’s how I grew up. Black women would tell me, "Sit your ass down somewhere." And if you didn’t sit down, they were going to sit you down. I think that’s exactly what he needs. He needs someone to sit his ass down for a second. It’s OK to be still. It’s like I feel like he’s getting a lot of information because a lot of it is new to him, especially in the political arena. So he’s getting a lot of information but he’s not giving himself a chance to digest it, understand it, process it before you just take it and spit it back to the world.
4. Charlamagne Is Friends With Van Lathan and Understood What Kanye Meant to Say in His Slavery Comment
Van is one of my closest friends in the world. It’s interesting, because he told me about it after it happened and then Ye hit me and told me what happened. I couldn’t process what exactly was said. I’m like, "What do you mean he said slavery is a choice?" Kanye had already explained it to me before I saw it, but then when I watched it I was like, "Nah, bruh. This wasn’t a good look at all and I understand what you meant to say because I have the context to it," but I can’t judge you for what you meant to say. I have to judge you for what you said. What you said was slavery was a choice. Slavery was not no damn choice. You can’t enroll in slavery. Nobody out here is trying to pledge Slave Phi U. That’s not the way that none of this works, so I don’t even understand why you had a context in your brain that you explained to me perfectly but then you went on there and blurted that out. What he was trying to say was, he was trying to talk about psychological stuff.
5. Kanye Shouldn’t Be Canceled & We We Can’t Afford to Lose Yeezy
You can definitely be canceled. Bill Cosby is proof of that. You can absolutely, positively be canceled, but I don’t think Kanye should be canceled yet. I think that everybody should be all hands on deck if you care. There’s nothing wrong with not caring either. Black people aren’t monolithic people. I personally feel that Kanye means too much to the culture. He means too much to the culture and he has too much influence. I think I read an article earlier today and there were these Alt-Right groups applauding what he said. When you have somebody with that big of a gun, you have to teach them how to shoot. I think right now, he’s not armed with the proper information. I want him to sit down with Michael Eric Dyson, I want him to continue to have conversations with Minister Louis Farrakhan, I want him to talk to somebody like Killer Mike. Go sit down and talk to people who actually have knowledge on these situations.
This article originally appeared in VIBE.