Please  'slavery was a choice' is Kanye West comment, not  Cassper Nyovest #IfSlaveryWasAChoice

Kanye West has attempted to defend himself after causing an uproar with controversial comments that suggested slavery was "a choice".

The rapper was being interviewed by TMZ after previously making headlines for supporting US president Donald Trump, when he said: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years... for 400 years? That sounds like a choice."

He added: "We're mentally imprisoned." He also referred to Trump as "my boy" and claimed the president was "one of rap's favourite people".

His comments prompted an angry, impassioned response by a black member of staff, Van Lathan, who said he believed West had an "absence of thought".

"You're entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real world, real life consequence behind everything that you just said," he told West, who stood still and listened to him.