The rapper also claimed he has been treated like “Wacko Jacko.”
Kanye West recently lavished praise on Michael Jackson, calling the late entertainer a “hero.”
In a new interview with Pharrell Williams for i-D, the global icon dished on how Pharrell was an inspiration and redefined Black culture in America, when he turned his attention to the “Thriller” singer.
“It felt like you really tore down the walls and the doors much like Michael Jackson did a generation before,” the 43-year-old began. “And in a way, he’s very similar to Michael Jackson, in the ways where Michael Jackson was doing covert, super gangsta stuff, like he’d just pop the needles off.”
Kanye went on to explain how Jackson defied what was expected of Black entertainers, like “kissing Elvis Presley’s daughter on MTV” and buying the Beatles’ catalog of music.
“Black culture used to be… we used to be fronting all night, but Michael was doing stuff that was different to what we were programmed to understand as being what we should do,” the “Flashing Lights” artist continued.
“We should have something that says we can’t allow any company to tear down our heroes,” Kanye said, appearing to then reference the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” in which Jackson was accused of child sex abuse, “Not on The Shade Room, not on social media and especially not in documentaries.”
In the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck claim the “Bad” singer molested them when they were children. Jackson was also investigated on child sex abuse claims in 1993 and 2005. Jackson denied all allegations before his death in 2009.
Those allegations and other antics deemed bizarre by the media led Jackson to be nicknamed “Wacko Jacko,” which Kanye used as a phrase to identify his treatment by the media.
“I’m like every time the media isn’t happy with me it’s like, ‘Here they go. They’re gonna come and Wacko Jacko me.’ Which in some ways, they’ve tried to do.”
Meanwhile, Kanye donated $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. He also joined a protest in Chicago last week.