Kanye West continues to take a stand against the ugly oppression of celebrities, who for decades now have found themselves segregated behind velvet ropes, forced to travel by “private” jets specifically designated for their use, and been seated in special sections of restaurants separate from the rest of society, solely because they can afford it. The struggle continues to be real in excerpts, newly released by TMZ, from a deposition the rapper gave in the 2013 case where he was accused of assaulting a photographer and smashing his camera. And while that case has since been settled, the balance between celebrities and the rest of the world remains upset—as does Kanye West.
West begins the deposition by fighting a more universal battle for dopeness against the parasites of the industry, telling the photographer’s lawyer, “I’m in the business of trying to make dope shit for the world. You’re in the business of representing scums and trying to make as much money as long as there’s this lapse in the law.” But while many of us may sympathize from our not-especially-cushy, non-ivory towers, few can understand the fight as it exists down on the streets that celebrities are sometimes forced to walk in between chauffeured rides. It’s a crusade that West—whose parents were active members of the Civil Rights movement—sees as every bit as equal to theirs, with celebrities on the front lines of this new, first-class war.
“I mean in the ‘60s people used to hold up ‘Die N****r’ signs when my parents were in the sit-ins also… Yes, 100… I equate it to discrimination. I equate it to inequalities. We, as group of minorities here in L.A., as celebrities have to band together to influence guys like this—guys trying to take the picture, guys trying to get the big win, guys trying to get the check.”
Standing up for the celebrity minority—whom society refuses to treat like everyone else, simply because they are richer and more famous—even cast a shadow over West’s recent wedding. As he told GQ, his reception toast included an obligatory lengthy digression about “the idea of celebrity, and celebrities being treated like blacks were in the ’60s, having no rights,” and a vow to “fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life.” Unfortunately, society’s utter disrespect for the rights of celebrities had to intrude on what was otherwise meant to be a celebration of love, but such is the way oppression seeps into even the smallest, $2.8 million moments of happiness.
Elsewhere in the deposition, Goldberg’s lawyer attempted to quote West’s paparazzi-related lyrics from “Flashing Lights,” only to be told by West, “You have to ask for a hall pass. You can’t just say the ‘n’ word around me. It offends me because you’re a white person saying ‘ni**a.’” For now, of course, it remains socially permissible for non-celebrities to say the word “celebrity.” For now.
West also reportedly declared, “I’m the smartest celebrity you’ve ever fucking dealt with. I’m not Britney Spears.” In other words: He’s famous and he’s proud. And the world will soon have to let Kanye West have his say.