"When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he said during an appearance on entertainment site TMZ.
"We're mentally imprisoned," the star added. He recently made headlines for his support for President Trump.
Black people were forcibly brought from Africa to the US during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and sold as slaves.
Kanye West stirs up the TMZ newsroom over TRUMP, SLAVERY and FREE THOUGHT. There's A LOT more that went down ... and the fireworks are exploding on @TMZLive today. Check your local listings for show times. pic.twitter.com/jwVsJCMPiq— TMZ (@TMZ) May 1, 2018
To the interviewers at TMZ, West said that "right now we're choosing to be enslaved", which provoked an angry response from a black member of staff at the company, Van Lathan.
His comments sparked a backlash on social media with some Twitter users suggesting the rapper should revisit the history books.
Kanye is a dangerous caricature of an “free thinking” black person in America. Frankly, I am disgusted and I’m over it. Also (I can’t believe I have to say this): Slavery was far from a choice.— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 1, 2018
Kanye : Slavery was a choice— The HBCU Roundtable (@_HBCURoundtable) May 1, 2018
Black America: pic.twitter.com/fgNjPqIPZV
Kanye’s rhetoric is a microcosm for a much larger phenomenon in American history in which black people are singularly blamed for the conditions they find themselves in.— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) May 1, 2018
“Slavery was a choice.”
“They just don’t want jobs.”
“They’re in prison bc they’re criminals.”
Holocaust was a choice too?— WS🅱️🅱️🅱️G (@_WSBG) May 1, 2018
You can see the full interview HERE!