NEW YORK – Kanye West (search) says "gay" has become an antonym to hip-hop — and that it needs to be stopped.
During an interview for an MTV special, the 27-year-old rapper launched into a discussion about hip-hop and homosexuality while talking about "Hey Mama," a song on his upcoming album, "Late Registration." (search)
West says that when he was young, people would call him a "mama's boy."
"And what happened was, it made me kind of homophobic, 'cause it's like I would go back and question myself," West says on the show, "All Eyes on Kanye West," (search) set to air Thursday night (10:30 p.m. ET).
West says he changed his ways, though, when he learned one of his cousins was gay.
"It was kind of like a turning point when I was like, 'Yo, this is my cousin. I love him and I've been discriminating against gays.'"
West says hip-hop was always about "speaking your mind and about breaking down barriers, but everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people." He adds that in slang, gay is "the opposite, the exact opposite word of hip-hop."
Kanye's message: "Not just hip-hop, but America just discriminates. And I wanna just, to come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it.'"
West, whose debut disc "The College Dropout" won a Grammy for best rap album, will see his second record in stores on Aug. 30.