“They been sayin, ‘man, Trey need to call these n—-s before he just put ’em online blastin,” Trey Songz, 35, captioned his July 19 Instagram post. The “Slow Motion” rapper shared the now-viral clip from Kanye West’s presidential campaign rally, where Ye, 43, says that Harriet Tubman never freed any slaves. “Ye, you in the way of progress for real,” added Trey, and you could practically hear him shake his head after watching the clip. “How [did] you turn this goofy from who you were? I’m so confused. Whoever got his number need to call him.”
Whoever calls Kanye might want to ring up a historian or two. Kanye, while apparently wearing a bulletproof fest, delivered a rambling, hourlong speech at South Carolina’s Exquis Event Center in North Charleston on July 19. Though Kanye touched upon numerous subjects during the “speech,” his comment about Harriet Tubman was the one that went viral. “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” said Kanye. This resulted in groans, murmuring, and one commenter named Toni Fulton to make her now-famous remark, “Yo, we leavin’ right now.”
Kanye’s remarks were called “completely irrational” by Kate Clifford Larson, author of the 2003 biography, Bound for the Promise Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. “She put up with a lot of abuse her whole life,” the Tubman scholar told the Washington Post. “She’s getting the attention and accolades that she deserves. Why tear her down now? It’s just ridiculous.”
During the speech, Kanye also doubled-down on his pro-life stance – sorta – while claiming his parents came close to aborting him. “There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” he said through tears. “I almost killed my daughter [North West, 7]…My girlfriend [Kim Kardashian, 39] called me screaming, crying. I’m a rapper. And she said I’m pregnant. She was crying,” said an emotional Kanye. “Even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into this world, when I did not want to. She stood up, and she protected that child.”
Kanye then said that “abortion should be legal,” but “there should be an option of maximum increase. … The maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars — or something in that range. If you had the opportunity to be given a million dollars, just for being pregnant, would you have considered it? And then everybody would start having children, the greatest gift of life.”
This campaign event was meant to drum up support for Kanye in South Carolina. He needs to collect 10,000 signatures by Monday (July 20) to appear on the state’s ballot in November, per USA Today. Kanye has missed the deadline to appear on many state ballots, including states like Florida and Texas, but he will appear on the Oklahoma ballot.