Kanye West has had an unpleasantly eventful 2018, managing to piss off vast swathes of the American people—first by seeming to embrace Donald Trump as some kind of (far more dangerous) fellow provocateur, and then by giving a TMZ interview in which he said that “400 years of slavery” “sounds like a choice” to him. That latter comment especially (and understandably) brought a great deal of derision down on West’s head over the last few months, a torrent of anger that a summer of mostly decent music—and mostly keeping his mouth shut—has only kind of started to abate.
Now, West has directly addressed the comments, apologizing for the pain he caused to the black community during an emotionally intense radio interview with Chicago’s WGCI. “I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment,” said West, who visibly broke up a couple of times during the conversation. “I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment.” And while “I’m sorry you felt bad” is a pretty classic example of bad apologizing tropes, watching video of the moment, it really does seem that West is sincere in knowing he fucked up, and understanding how he did. (He also suggested that the TMZ moment was part of his recent and ongoing struggles with mental health, noting that he’d asked his long-time friend, fashion designer Don C., to come visit him recently to help him keep those kinds of lapses of judgment/equilibrium at bay.)