Kanye West: ‘Racism Is a Dated Concept’

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In an interview with Clique TV, Kanye West explained that he does not believe racism is an “actual thing” anymore, calling it “silly,” “stupid,” and “dated.”

“Racism is a dated concept,” West said. “It’s like a silly concept that people try to touch on to either… to separate, to alienate, to pinpoint anything. It’s stupid.”

“It’s like a bouncing ball in a room with two cats, or something, when you don’t feel like playing with a cat,” he continued. “Let them literally fight over the bouncing ball. And the bouncing ball has nothing, no purpose, anything other than that it, it bounces. That’s racism. It’s not an actual thing that even means anything. It’s something that was used to hold people back in the past, but now there’s been so many leaps and breaking of the rules that it’s like, it’s played out, it’s like a style from the 1800’s…”

Earlier in the interview, Clique TV asked Kanye what he thinks about white people singing “the N-word” at his concerts, specifically referring to the rapper’s hit song “N***as in Paris.”

“It’s difficult for black people right now,” West explained. “It does hurt when we hear that, because we’re still in a generation that remembers when racism was a big thing that held people back, and now it’s more classism, it’s more social. It’s like where your class is and where your financial standing is, that can hold you back, because obviously there are some black people who have broken the concept of race, like Obama, or Jay-Z.”

“It’s true that white people use that word at concerts. It’s like when my words get taken out of context. I can say anything I want on a beat, but when I would say it in an interview, it would be taken out of context and people would be like, ‘Oh, he’s an egomaniac,’ but it’s like, wait a second, this is the way people rap. It’s like boxing. If you box inside the ring and beat somebody all the way up, you can make millions of dollars. If you box at a bar and beat somebody up, you’ll lose millions of dollars. It’s all in the context.”

West also discussed his musical evolution during the wide-ranging interview, comparing himself to Michael Jordan and saying that while Yeezus was not his most successful album, it led him to hits like “All Day” and “Only One.”

“I’ve grown, I’ve went to the gym, like Michael Jordan when he was going to win his championships and everything,” West said of his recent music output. “He was going to the gym, he had to get stronger to go up against the Pistons. We’re going up against some major hitmakers. I look at Drake as like an amazing sparring partner.”

Check out the rest of Kanye’s 30+ minute interview above.