Kanye West Compares Celebrities to Civil Rights Leaders in Court

West tells opposing lawyer, "You have to ask for a hall pass. You can't just say the N-word around me" after attorney quotes rapper's lyrics

Kanye West
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Kanye West
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Before Kanye West was sentenced to two years of probation in March for pleading no contest to beating up a paparazzo, he gave a deposition containing some unique viewpoints that has just leaked online via TMZ. Among them are his opinion that celebrities are comparable to the civil rights leaders of the Sixties, a point that arose after the photographer's attorney used the N-word, quoting the rapper's lyrics in "Flashing Lights," without West's permission.

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When lawyer Nate Goldberg quoted West's lyrics – "'Til I get flashed by the paparazzi, damn, these niggas got me" – the rapper stopped him and said, "You have to ask for a hall pass. You can't just say the N-word around me. It offends me because you're a white person saying 'nigga.'"

West then explained that in the Sixties, white people held up disparaging signs with the word on it when his parents were attending sit-ins. So Goldberg asked if West compared the struggle of African-Americans to the hardships of celebrities. "Yes, 100 [percent]," West said. "I equate it to discrimination. I equate it to inequalities. We, as group of minorities, here in L.A. – as celebrities – have to band together to influence guys like this, guys trying to take the picture, guys trying to get the big win, guys trying to get the check."

At another point, West reportedly warned the attorneys, "I'm the smartest celebrity you've ever fucking dealt with. I'm not Britney Spears." He explained that the plaintiff's lawyer was in "the business of representing scums" while he was in "the business of trying to make dope shit for the world." And when Goldberg asked West where he lived, the rapper rejoined, "Earth."

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