Van Lathan is the TMZ staffer who stood up to Kanye after the rapper said slavery sounded "like a choice"

West said, "I'm sorry."


We tried to ignore the troll job, but we wanted to get a post up before Kanye ends up on Hannity.

Today — just days after MAGA-gate — the 40-year-old rapper went completely off the rails (or just really upped the ante on the greatest troll job of 2018) by appearing on TMZ to do more "free thinking" out loud.

UPDATE: Here's the full interview for context.

During the segment West revealed that he became addicted to opioids after undergoing liposuction surgery. “I didn’t want you all to call me fat, like you called Rob [Kardashian] at the wedding and made him fly home before me and Kim [Kardashian] got married,” he explained.

Kanye West explores his God complex on Saint Pablo Tour at Amalie Arena (w/photos)

Yeezy added that he became addicted and, when he tried to quit, he ended up in the hospital, only to be given more opioids upon his discharge. West also said was “drugged out” when he met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in December 2016.

The real zinger from the appearance though? A free thought on the topic of slavery.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said. “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all you all?”

Thankfully one staffer had the wherewithal to issue a rebuttal to West. Here's the exchange:


"Do you feel that I'm being free, and I'm thinking free?," West asks.

"I actually don't think you're thinking anything. I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought and the reason I feel like that is, Kanye, you're entitled to your opinion, you're entitled to believe whatever you want," Van Lathan said as West listened.

"But there is fact, and there is real world consequence behind everything that you just said. While you are making music and being an artist and living a life that you've earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives, we have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years that you said, for our people, was a choice," Lathan added. "Frankly, I'm disappointed, I'm appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something that, to me, is not real."

"Bro, you gotta be responsible man," Lathan added as Kanye can be seen walking through the office towards him.

"I'm sorry, bro. I'm sorry I hurt you," West said. 

"Nah, man, you gotta be responsible, you voice is too big," the staffer can be heard saying as the video cuts off.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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