Another day, another Kanye rant. But two Baton Rouge natives aren’t having it!
Earlier this week, after weeks rant after rant, Kanye stopped by the TMZ studios in Los Angeles. He spewed more of his ‘free thought’ rhetoric. But the major highlight of the interview was the interaction between Kanye and TMZ correspondent and Baton Rouge native, Van Lathan. After Kanye asserted that because of the length of slavery (400 years) it seemed that being a slave was a ‘choice’, Van had some choice words for the rapper.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Van today via phone:
“The breaking point was him calling into question the strength of our ancestors,” said Lathan when we asked what made him call Kanye out on his -ish.
We asked if Van saw the love that Baton Rouge was giving him for standing tall against Kanye who is known for his adverse conversations with the media, Van boasted his love for the city:
“Baton Rouge is where my soul exists. My brain and heart are here in L.A. but my soul is and forever will split time between Gardere Lane and McKinley High.”
See the full interaction between Kanye West and Van below:
Celebrities and more shared their support of Van’s words. It seems that Van Lathan got an opportunity to tell Kanye to his face what the public has been thinking the past few years. Later on his podcast, he mentions that he has “Lost all respect” for Kanye. Listen to more of his commentary on his emergency podcast on Kanye below:
Not only is Van from Baton Rouge, but he also attended Southern University. Another Southern University alum and Van’s classmate, State Representative Edward “Ted” James had some words regarding the exchange.
“Baton Rouge is the home of the first bus boycott. MLK learned his strategy from Baton Rouge minister TJ Jemison. The spirit of advocacy and the audacity to speak truth to power has been taught to our children for decades. As a classmate and friend, I am extremely proud that Van stood up to and educated Kanye West” – Ted James
When asked if he had any words for others looking to use their voice, Ted responded,
“We all have an obligation to speak up. No matter the size of the platform, their is power in speaking your convictions. Use your voice to make people uncomfortable.”
The Baton Rouge clap back didn’t stop with Van, today, another Baton Rougian Maxine Crump pushed the conversation forward with her comments on Kanye on CNN. Maxine works at LSU and is the Executive director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana. She is also a descendent of the slave that was sold to save Georgetown.
It’s safe to say Ye hasn’t been the same after the unfortunate death of his mother, Dr. Donda West. He’s went on tirades about seemingly nothing on award shows. He’s publicly ranted his displeasure toward his mentor, Jay-Z. Then most recently gunpoint robbery of his wife, Kim Kardashian. It’s safe to say Kanye has had a tumultuous time these past few years. It seems it all came to a head last year and he was committed to the UCLA Medical Center for hallucinations and paranoia. The mental episode is said to have been brought on by sleep deprivation and dehydration. After this, the rest of his tour dates were canceled. After his discharge, it seems we had heard the last of Kanye for a while. Maybe he had found some much-needed therapy and had confronted his demons.
How did it all start? Earlier this year, the tweets began. At first it was harmless. Just typical Kanye being Kanye. No harm, no foul. He was back. He was engaging. He was feeling better. Great. Right?!
On cue, things turned ugly when he shared his love for President Donald Trump, calling him his “brother” and that they both had “dragon energy”.
Of course, the movement that is #BlackTwitter lamented as their once hero continued to remind us why we were considering Kanye to be just as canceled as Stacey Dash.
Charlamagne the God (basically the black male Oprah) released a sit-down interview with Kanye that was seemingly filmed in April. Watch the full video below:
To Kanye’s defense, he was poised, articulate, and transparent. He discussed his addiction to opioids after a liposuction procedure. He talked about his rants and how his insecurities after Life of Pablo wasn’t performing on radio. He also (finally) admitted being hurt by Jay-Z and Beyonce not attending his wedding. It seemed like we were getting a Kanye that we could actually feel empathetic toward versus confused and enraged.
Kanye Omari West used to be the golden boy of rap. The talented producer turned rap artist made us bob our heads to “Jesus Walks” in the club. He called out the vanity of Hollywood in “All Falls Down”. He made us feel like we were unstoppable with “Stronger”. He even pushed the limits of our mind with the ‘luxury rap’ on the Watch The Throne album. Somehow, along the way, we lost Kanye.