Many celebrities have weighed in on Kanye’s remarks, and as Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am appeared on U.K. show Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, he called the slavery is a choice comment “one of the most ignorant statements that anybody who came from the hood could ever say about their ancestors.”
The “Voice U.K.” judge admitted the remark “broke my heart” because it made him think of his grandmother’s grandma, who was a slave.
He added, “And when you’re a slave, you’re owned. You don’t choose if you’re owned. When you’re a slave you’re deprived of education. That’s not choice, that’s by force.”
He added that he hopes Kanye isn’t just making controversial remarks to drum up publicity for his music or shoe line, because that would be the worst thing the rapper could do.
“So I encourage you, if you really believe this, give your shoes away for free, give your album away for free. And I don’t like talking about going against my community, but that is harmful,” he said, addressing Kanye directly. “I will not throw my ancestors under the bus to profit.”
Kanye took to Twitter after causing controversy to explain his comment was “just an idea” and an example of free thought, and while will.i.am understands the need for free thinking, he believes remarks made without research are going to hurt the community, who are still experiencing conditions that are not a choice – such as instances of police brutality.
Meanwhile, “Clueless” actress Stacey Dash has written a blog post praising Kanye for standing by his own opinions, adding, “There is nothing more racist than telling someone what to believe based on the color of their skin.”
DeRon Beasley is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of FreshAsFrankie.com. After starting out as a musician-producer he went on to study the music business and work in Urban Promotions, followed by artist management. Mr. Beasley entrepreneurial spirit has led him to launch numerous businesses in music and fashion marketing. He’s a huge fan of the ’80s and ’90s Hip Hop and R&B, and he’s a firm believer that Hip Hop Music will never die.