It’s easy to find Kanye West’s criticisms of paparazzi culture in his rhymes, but he has used them to his advantage. The photographers that chase around celebrities are a blessing and a curse for famous figures who want their privacy but also call the paparazzi for exclusive photo opportunities. West has a love-hate relationship with those flashing lights, but he has been known to pop up in the TMZ offices.
Back in 2018, West did just that, but the fiery moment was taken over by Van Lathan, a former employee of the popular celebrity gossip company. The media and podcast host would become a viral sensation all those years ago after he checked West over the rapper’s “slavery was a choice” comments.
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Lathan recently sat down with VladTV to take a look back at that moment. Although the splicing of the clip that has circulated shows Lathan seemingly interrupting West, he clarified that Kanye asked the newsroom for a response. “He had said all kinds of crazy things up to that point…well, not crazy. Whatever you believe. His ideas or whatever,” said Lathan.
“I think slavery being a choice is f*cking crazy and disrespectful but he had said all kinds of things and I was like, whatever,” Lathan continued. “He asked. He asked my opinion. He asked the whole room. That was a challenge to me.” West asked the room if he was “thinking freely,” and Lathan jumped in with his answer. “No.”
He added that he understood the point that West was trying to make, but vehemently disagreed. “You cant have them be your example of weakness because to me, they’re an example of strength.” Watch Lathan explain his side of the story below.