Kanye West ‘Humbled’ for the First Time in His Life

Melanie Arter | February 24, 2015 | 3:49pm EST
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When Rapper Kanye West accepted the Visionary Award at the BET Honors Awards, which aired Monday, he said he was “humbled” for the first time in his life.

“Seeing that, I think I maybe for the first time in my life I understand how it is to feel humbled,” Kanye said.

He then talked about his “groundbreaking” discussion with Nation of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan about his interracial marriage to Kim Kardashian. He recalled “barbershop” conversations he’d heard about black male celebrities who dated outside their race and the Caucasian women who dated these men for their money.

“At the barbershop and everything, I used to hear ‘you know when an entertainer get on, of course you know he gonna go and get a white girl … and the white girl gonna go and get a rich black dude,’” Kanye said.

“But I want to say that my wife has dated broke black dudes,” Kanye added. The audience – including his wife, Kim, laughed. “So it ain’t got nothing to do with the money,” he said.

Kanye recalled a story his wife told him about her father, Robert Kardashian.

When someone wrote a racial slur on the side of Robert Kardashian’s Bentley, because – as Kanye put it – he was “the genius that put together the defense team that got O.J. off,” Mr. Kardashian, who “was the most laid-back human being,” went crazy and chased after them.

Kim “stood there crying, and said, ‘Dad, why are you going so crazy?’” Kanye recalled.

“And she said, he said to her, ‘One day you may have a black child – a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful black child, and it’s gonna be hard. You’re gonna see how hard it is,’” Kanye said. He and his wife Kim have a child together named North West.

Kanye went on to talk about racism and how despite his wealth and celebrity, he’s not “empowered” because of race.

“The bit of sound bytes that everyone loved from last year that everybody took out of context or misunderstood did come from a place of saying, ‘Yes, part of the reason why I’m not allowed to be empowered is because of race, because of people’s perception of celebrity, because all they want to present to young black men is the idea of making it to the league or making it to be a rapper, but not the idea of becoming an owner, and they would do anything they can to make it seem like a truthful idea is a stupid idea or a crazy idea.”

And Kanye said, just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re free if you’re “colored.”

“Don’t think that because we can buy a $300,000 car that we’re free, and don’t think that because it’s 3 percent of a gated community has colored people in it that we’re free. It’s the mentality, the slave mentality where we all eventually become slaves to that car, slaves to the perception, slaves to the idea of being cool.”

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